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L&G Grafts £100m Cambridge Deal

Legal & General, in partnership with Wrenbridge, is under offer to buy the Grafton Centre in Cambridge from M&G for around £100m – a 5.5% yield.

The joint venture has secured exclusivity on the deal ahead of rival UK institutions including Rockspring, Orchard Street and Hermes.

The 500,000 sq ft mall also attracted interest from developers, given its significant potential for refurbishment and repositioning to take advantage of the strength of the Cambridge economy.

Grafton is one of the largest retail assets to have come to market this year. It is anchored by Debenhams and adjoins an eight-screen Vue Cinema, which Orchard Street bought in a separate £9.6m deal earlier this year.

L&G’s acquisition is expected to kick-start stalled plans to refurbish or redevelop the centre, which were first tabled by Prupim in 1997.

The latest plans for a £15m refurbishment were drawn up in 2009, but they were delayed by the financial crisis.

L&G is acquiring the mall on behalf of its second UK Property Income Fund.

Strutt & Parker advised L&G and Wrenbridge.

Author: Amber Rolt, Estates Gazette