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Helical Bar nets GBP37m from trio of asset sales

Helical Bar has sold three assets in Suffolk and Buckinghamshire for a combined total of nearly GBP37m.

The assets were each sold above book value, which in aggregate represented a 6.9 per cent premium.
Helical has exchanged on The Guineas Shopping Centre in Newmarket, Suffolk for a consideration of GBP18.235m to Ignis Asset Management. The price reflects a net initial yield of 8.0 per cent.
Helical acquired the 110,000 sq ft shopping centre in 2011 from administrators acting for Lloyds Bank and since then has undertaken a concentrated programme of asset management to improve the appearance and performance of the centre.
Also near Newmarket, Helical has completed on the sale of its 53 per cent stake in a 64,000 sq ft research and development facility in Fordham, to a UK institution for GBP15.865m. The asset was held in a joint venture with Dencora Estates Ltd. The site is let until 2030 to LGC, a company providing chemical, biochemical and DNA analysis including doping control for the horse racing industry.
The facility comprises a mixture of office, laboratory, and industrial buildings together with car parking across circa seven acres. Planning permission has been granted for a further 15,000 sq ft of offices and associated car parking at the facility, and there is the potential for further future development on the remaining 29 acres.
Lastly, Helical has completed on the sale of its 50 per cent stake in Luminous House, Milton Keynes, to a private investor for GBP2.6m.
The 12,800 sq ft office, which was owned and developed by Helical in joint venture with Abbeygate Developments Ltd is fully let to i2 Office, a company which operates high quality business centres.
Duncan Walker, investment director at Helical, says: “The South East property market is going from strength to strength with sustained demand from both investors and occupiers for high quality buildings across all asset classes.
“The sale of The Guineas in particular illustrates the benefits of our ongoing asset management programme. Having concluded a cosmetic refurbishment, and rectified a number of management issues as a result of the administration process, the asset is once again firmly institutional.
“We continue to seek new opportunities to add value and have significant firepower to do so.”
Savills and Lunson Mitchenall acted for Helical on The Guineas Shopping Centre and Kitchen La Frenais Morgan acted for the buyer. Helical was advised by Bidwells on the sale of Fordham. Tudor Toone acted for Helical Bar on Luminous House.

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