LONDON-Pillar Property has confirmed long-running speculation that it will launch a European retail park fund. It has already bought the 550,000-sf Nassica retail park in Madrid, Spain, and other deals are in the pipeline to provide the core of a pan-European portfolio. The fund will have an initial target size of £500 million ($800 million)

Speaking at the company’s Annual General Meeting Chairman Raymond Mould said: “Our expansion into continental Europe is going well. Together with co-investors, we expect to be contracting to acquire a number of new parks in the near future. The procedures for the formation of a new fund, Pillar Retail Europark Fund are now well in hand and we would hope that this will be fully established by the end of 2003.”

And in the UK Mould said The Hercules Unit Trust has recently exchanged contracts for the acquisition of a new 226,000-sf park in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, for up to £46.5 million ($75 million), with completion due in November 2003. This transaction will increase the assets under management to £1.9 billion ($3 billion).

And Mould said PillarCaisse, Pillar’s joint venture with Canadian pension fund SITQ, has placed its Castle Quay Shopping Centre in Banbury, Oxfordshire, under offer after attracting a number of competitive offers. “We expect to exchange on the sale by the end of August,” he said.

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