British Land could sell half stake in Meadowhall

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British Land is thought to have put half its 50 per cent stake in the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield up for sale.

That would mean a three-quarters stake in the mega-mall is now up for grabs as the other 50 per cent of Meadowhall is already being sold by London & Stamford.

Valued at £1.42bn at British Land’s annual results in May, the 21 year-old shopping centre is the company’s third biggest property after two in London.

Retaining half its stake in the shopping centre would allow British Land to retain management of Meadowhall.

The company’s chief executive Chris Grigg declined to comment on the group’s intentions.

Peel Hunt analyst James Carswell said: “It would allow them to recycle capital into some of their other schemes.

“It’s a good opportunity as Meadowhall has performed well.”

Investors with the cash to buy into such large projects include the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation and Malaysian and Canadian pension funds.

Meadowhall was part of the first wave of UK mega-malls built in the 1990s.

British Land bought Meadowhall in 1999 for £1.17bn and sold a 50 per cent stake to London & Stamford and a Middle Eastern partner for £588m in 2009.

Large UK shopping centres that dominate their catchment area like Meadowhall are highly prized by property investors as they have so far managed to weather the tough retailing climate better than the rest of the UK.

In its third quarter results yesterday, British Land reported a 0.3 per cent rise in its net asset value to 593p per share in the three months to December 31.

“With the eurozone issues still unresolved and the impact of austerity adversely affecting consumer spending in the UK, we remain cautious about near-term prospects, particularly in the retail market,” the company said in a statement.