As an adopted South Londoner and regular frustrated user of its roundabout, I was pleased to see the long-delayed announcement that Lend Lease has finally been selected as the preferred developer for the redevelopment of Elephant & Castle. The Australian developer, in a consortium with Elliot Lipton’s First Base and Oakmayne Properties, had beaten shortlisted rival St Modwen with Salhia Real Estate. The masterplan for the 170-acre site, designed by Ken Shuttleworth’s MAKE and released by the council last August, aims to create a sustainable "non-car parking destination", with 6,000 homes and 800,000 sq ft of retail.
July 2007 Archives
And we're off! The Financial Times reports today that Delta Two has offered 610p a share for Sainsbury's, valuing the supermarket group at about £12 billion. Sainsbury's has not made a statement yet, but the family or management are understood not to support the bid. This would be consistent with their position since the bid by CVC was rebuffed in April. The FT says "Delta Two is now considering two options: making a full-blown takeover bid or using its shareholding to force a restructuring of Sainsbury’s property portfolio." This would require the support of Robert Tchenguiz who has a declared 5% stake in the grocer, although this is likely to be closer to 10% with derivatives. That support would almost certainly be forthcoming given his previous vocal support for an Opco-Propco arrangement that would return cash to shareholders.
Coal Pension Properties is seeking £90 million – a 4.28% initial yield – for the freehold interest in its 276,000 sq ft Eden Walk shopping centre in Kingston upon Thames. The mall, which is anchored by Marks & Spencer, Habitat, Heals and Sainsbury’s, is situated in the centre of Kingston council’s K+20 Area Action Plan, which aims to dramatically increase the Surrey town’s shopping facilities by 2020. Hammerson, which is advising the council on the plan, has proposed a £500 million mixed-use development on 15 acres of land surrounding Eden Walk, which would include 500,000 sq ft of retail.
Ernst & Young has appealed for buyers to take on individual Fopp stores, following the collapse of the chain last week. It was appointed joint administrator and receiver for the independent music retailer on Friday.
Rescue talks with Virgin Megastores failed last week, though they were perhaps optimistic considering Virgin froze its store acquisition programme in April as part of a review of the business that aimed to stem losses of more than £100 million over the last two years. Taking on further debt would seem to be a curious choice, but according to The Times, Virgin was prepared to inject a big rescue loan and take a 10% stake in a new entity that kept the Fopp brand, but a source close to the deal said: "In the end the numbers just didn't add up and suppliers to Fopp would not support it." This follows rumours of HMV discussing buying some of Virgin's stores.