According to a report in the national Times on March 19, British Land and Landsec have held talks that would involve at least one of British Land’s shopping centres changing hands, as the two property giants search for ways to lift their drifting share prices.
Under the proposed deal, it is understood Landsec would acquire a 50 per cent share of Meadowhall in Sheffield, which is valued at around £780million – and British Land would take Landsec’s ten retail parks in return.
It could pave the way for a similar deal for British Land’s shopping centres, such as RVP, after the commercial landlord looks to move away from enclosed malls to out of town retail parks.
Mark Allan and Simon Carter, the Chief Executives of Landsec and British Land respectively, are both under pressure to close persistent gaps between the book value of their assets and the stock market value of their companies. Landsec trades at a 24 per cent discount and British Land at a 25 per cent discount.
British Land saw more than £1billion wiped off its retail portfolio during the pandemic after it had to reduce, and in some cases, waive rents completely.
It has since spent hundreds of millions of pounds buying out of town retail parks, in the belief they are more profitable post pandemic than traditional shopping malls.
Meadowhall, which is jointly owned by British Land and Norwegian bank Norges, was valued at £778.7million in March last year.
The retail property owner paid £96million for Royal Victoria Place in 2018.
Landsec, which also has shares in the Bluewater shopping centre in Dartford, has ten retail parks valued at £405million.
The news comes after this newspaper revealed that the empty BHS unit in RVP is set to be converted into a leisure and entertainment complex following a £9million investment by Elite Leisure Collection, which also owns One Media, publisher of the Times.