British Land set to sell £429 million of Sainsbury’s superstores

British Land set to sell £429 million of Sainsbury’s superstores

One of the UK’s largest property development and investment companies, British Land (LON:BLND), said that it had exchanged on the sale of 12 superstores from its joint venture with Sainsbury’s for £429 million, to Realty Income Corporation.

The company said that its share of the proceeds will be £193.5 million.

The sale will reduce its retail business from roughly 50% to a third of its total assets.

In an aim to deliver its long-term strategy to build a mixed-use business, British Land is focusing on three core elements – campus focused London offices, a smaller, refocused, Retail business, and Residential, primarily build to rent.

Moreover, the company said that it was progressing unique development opportunities, such as Canada Water, in addition to the investment into its campuses.

British Land said that it will focus on the additional sale of retail assets which do not align with its strategy.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of May. It follows the sale of its last four freestanding Debenhams stores in December as it moves its estate away from the gloomy British high street.

“We have a clear view of the value of our assets and despite the clear challenges currently in the retail market, we remain opportunistic and proactive,” the company said in a press release.

Many retailers have fallen victim to the tough trading conditions to hit the UK high street. It was recently reported that almost 2,500 high street stores closed in 2018, according to PwC research compiled by the Local Data Company (LDC). Research shows that Banks and financial services lead the way with 291 net closures, closely followed by fashion retailers with 269 closures.

Headquartered in London, British Land is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100.