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LONDON-MEPC–once one of the UK’s leading retail landlords–has completed its withdrawal from the sector with the £115 million ($180 million) sale of its 50% interest in six UK malls. The other half was sold three years ago to the Australian investor Westfield Shoppingtowns after MEPC was taken over by GE Capital and Hermes with a strategy of concentrating on business park development.

The portfolio comprises six shopping centres–The Eagle Centre, Derby; Brunel Centre, Swindon; Friary Shopping Centre, Guildford; CastleCourt, Belfast; Royal Victoria Place, Tunbridge Wells and Mill Gate, Bury. The properties are all managed by Westfield.

All of the shopping centres have development potential and outline planning consent has already been granted at Derby to expand the centre to 900,000 sf over two-levels, providing 150 shops and a 140,000-sf department store.

Hermes Chairman Richard Harrold said: “We’re very pleased to purchase this interest as we believe the portfolio has considerable potential. We look forward to working with Westfield with whom we already have a strong relationship through the Broadmarsh partnership in Nottingham.”

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