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LONDON-REIT Asset Management has beaten strong competition to buy the 542,000-sf Chequers shopping centre in Maidstone, Kent. It has paid the Stoneborough Trust–made up of Prudential Life Fund and Shell Pensions Trust–£102.75 million ($160 million) for the centre, which dominates retailing in the town.

The 542,000-sf centre is anchored by Boots; Bhs; T J Hughes; Wilkinsons and Next. It was developed in the 1970s but substantially refurbished by the current owners over the past decade. Prudential Director of Shopping Centre Investment, David Alker, said there was strong interest in the investment and commented that “The price the owners received for this asset represented an excellent return”.

The purchase allows REIT to reinvest the proceeds of two sales over the past year, which saw schemes in Ipswich, Suffolk and Accrington, Manchester, sold for a combined £56 million ($88 million). CB Richard Ellis acted on behalf of Prudential and Shell and REIT was advised by Franc Warwick.

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