The landmark St Elli Shopping Centre in Llanelli has been sold to a new retail firm.
London-based NewRiver Retail Limited, the UK’s fourth largest owner/manager of shopping centres, has bought the centre from insurance group Axa on a freehold basis for £29.2m.
“It’s all good news as far as the shopping centre is concerned,” said St Elli Centre manager Andrew Stephens.
“This is a thriving and vibrant shopping centre which will always be attractive to investors,” said Mr Stephens.
“The sale has been on the table for a number of months, but contracts have now been exchanged and we are able to talk openly about the move.
“In terms of what happens on a day-to-day basis at the shopping centre, nothing really changes. We have new owners, but it is business as usual and we view the sale as a real vote of confidence in the centre and the town of Llanelli.
“Everyone who works here is very proud of the centre and we think the people of Llanelli and West Wales should be very proud of the centre as well. It’s the customers who make the place tick and we are very grateful to everyone who supports the centre, week in and week out.”
The NewRiver deal was announced to the financial markets today as part of a £34.3m deal which also sees the firm acquire the Gloucester Green retail centre in Oxford.
The St Elli Shopping Centre covers 160,000 sq ft in the centre of Llanelli.
Allan Lockhart, property director of NewRiver Retail, said: “We are very pleased to have acquired a high-performing major food-anchored shopping centre. Both assets (Llanelli and Gloucester) will provide NewRiver with sustainable and attractive cash on equity returns with excellent prospects for capital returns through pre-identified asset and development management initiatives.”
The acquisition is being funded through the company’s joint venture with the Bravo II partnership, a fund managed by Pacific Investment Management Company. Both parties are taking a 50 per cent equity stake in the acquisition.
The St Elli Shopping Centre is anchored by a 70,000 sq ft Asda supermarket.
Other national retailers trading in the centre include: Argos, Poundland, Sports Direct and Wilkinson and Peacocks.
In recent weeks, the centre has seen the opening of a new Card Centre shop.
The centre benefits from a high occupancy rate and offers 450 car park spaces.
Since its opening in 1997, the St Elli Shopping Centre has become a defining landmark in the town.
It offers an entirely enclosed shopping environment with more than 20 stores all under a distinctive glass pyramid ceiling.
Within the centre, you will find an exciting cocktail of shopping outlets in a sparkling and convenient mall, served with ample parking and excellent service from friendly store staff.
Book-ended by a model ASDA supermarket and a well-established traditional market, the St. Elli Shopping Centre offers a wide range of shopping outlets to choose from with children’s entertainment a permanent fixture and centre aisle attractions providing regular features.