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AEW UK REIT plc (AEWU)
8 November 2021
AEW UK REIT Plc
Acquisition of Central Six Retail Park, Coventry
AEW UK REIT plc (LSE: AEWU) ("AEWU" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the acquisition of the 11.91 acre Central Six Retail Park in Coventry for a purchase price of £16,411,000 / £110 per sq ft. The purchase price reflects a net initial yield of circa 11%, with an anticipated reversionary yield of circa 12.5%. The acquisition is accretive to the EPRA EPS and takes AEWU close to full investment, having recently completed the sales of two of its industrial holdings in South Kirkby and Basingstoke at prices 87% and 73% above their purchase prices, respectively.
The acquisition demonstrates the Manager's view that there continue to be interesting opportunities to acquire assets that provide strong income yields to support the ongoing dividend payment, while also enhancing the capital performance of its assets. The site presents opportunities to add value through active asset management by renewing current tenancies and securing new tenants on the park. This purchase will be accretive to AEWU's income return and it is anticipated that asset management initiatives will result in NAV growth.
The site occupies a strategic and central location, approximately 0.7 miles away from Coventry city centre and adjacent to Coventry Railway Station and the Friargate Regeneration area. The retail park is highly accessible and provides 148,765 sq ft of modern purpose-built retail space with parking for 635 cars. The site cover is just 27%. Units are let to household name retailers including TK Maxx, Next, Boots, Sports Direct, Burger King and Poundland. Coventry has one of the fastest growing populations in the UK outside of London. Between 2019 and 2024 it is expected to grow by 1.25% per annum, ranking the city second out of 200 in the PROMIS Centres Retail Report. Coventry was named the UK's City of Culture 2021, which is estimated to generate an additional £80m for the local economy.
The tenants at Central Six Retail Park have proven to be resilient during the pandemic, with rent collection rates generally being strong.
Alex Short, Portfolio Manager, AEW UK REIT plc, commented: "We are pleased to have acquired Central Six Retail Park in Coventry, which has been purchased for a price that will deliver an excellent initial yield and contribute immediately to shareholder returns. The park offers further opportunity to manage the assets proactively to enhance NAV over the longer term. At present the retail warehouse sector is providing some interesting opportunities, often underpinned by alternative use value, and occupied by tenants that have shown resilience during the pandemic. We are pleased to add this asset to the portfolio and will continue to target acquisitions where we believe valuations offer the opportunity to deliver both strong income and capital performance. The Company continues to judge each asset on its own specific merits, rather than being entirely sector driven in its purchasing strategy."
Notes to Editors
About AEW UK REIT
AEW UK REIT plc (LSE: AEWU) aims to deliver an attractive total return to shareholders by investing predominantly in smaller commercial properties (typically less than £15 million), on shorter occupational leases in strong commercial locations across the United Kingdom. The Company is currently invested in office, retail, industrial and leisure assets, with a focus on active asset management, repositioning the properties and improving the quality of income streams. AEWU is currently paying an annualised dividend of 8p per share.
The Company was listed on the Official List of the UK Listing Authority and admitted to trading on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange on 12 May 2015.
About AEW UK Investment Management LLP
AEW UK Investment Management LLP employs a well-resourced team comprising 29 individuals covering investment, asset management, operations and strategy. It is part of AEW Group, one of the world's largest real estate managers, with €75.4bn of assets under management as at 30 June 2021. AEW Group comprises AEW SA and AEW Capital Management L.P., a U.S. registered investment manager and their respective subsidiaries. In Europe, as at 30 June 2021, AEW Group managed €36.6bn of real estate assets on behalf of a number of funds and separate accounts with over 440 staff located in 9 offices. In May 2019, AEW UK Investment Management LLP was awarded Property Manager of the Year at the Pensions and Investment Provider Awards.
 PROMIS: The UK Property Market Information Service (PROMIS) is a key source of comprehensive and independent analysis of town-level property markets. Since 1982, PROMIS has provided up-to-date, consistent, and independent town-level property analysis to support investment, valuation, development and consultancy.
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