Ergo Real Estate has completed the acquisition of a further six properties for £100 million on behalf of Aver Property LP, its Joint Venture with NFU Mutual.

Aver has bought two retail properties in Aintree and Southampton for a combined £40 million, two office buildings in Birmingham for £12 million and forward purchased two speculative industrial developments in Bicester and Markham Vale for a combined £47 million in five separate transactions.

The acquisitions are in line with Aver’s strategy to make value-add and opportunistic acquisitions of commercial property assets in the UK. Aver aims to invest up to £300 million in investments which provide the potential for income enhancement through skilled asset management and capital value growth from repositioning and restructuring of assets.

In Aintree, Aver has acquired Switch Island Retail Park, which is six miles north of Liverpool, from Columbia Threadneedle. The weighted average unexpired lease term is 11 years. The 171,902 sq ft park has eight occupiers, B&M Home Store, Matalan, JD Gyms, Dunelm, Subway, Odeon Luxe, McDonalds and Hungry Horse.

In Southampton, Aver has acquired a B&Q store at Nursling Industrial Estate in a sale-and-leaseback transaction. The lease runs for a further 15 years.

In Birmingham, Aver has acquired two reversionary, 10-storey office buildings on the Great Charles Street Estate, close to the Paradise and Arena Central regeneration schemes on the northern edge of the city centre, from Angelo Gordon and Dunedin Property. The buildings, Charles House and 154 Great Charles Street comprise respectively 33,446 sq ft and 33,636 sq ft, of which a third of the space is vacant.

In Bicester, Aver has forward purchased Axis J9, a 200,617 sq ft development of five industrial buildings near Junction 9 of the M40, from Howes Lane and Albion Land. The development is on site and due for completion in September 2020.
In Markham Vale, Aver has forward purchased the final phase of Markham Vale North, a 70-acre industrial and logistics development by Junction 29a of the M1, from Henry Boot Developments. The two units of 220,000 sq ft and 75,000 sq ft are due expected to be on site early in 2020 with completion in 2021.
Martin Jepson, co-founder of Ergo Real Estate, which is a value-add property company formed by Martin Jepson and Christopher Cope in January 2019, said: “These six properties are excellent additions for the partnership. They provide a good mix of geographical and sector diversification and take the Funds committed capital to around £130 million”.
“The two retail properties delivery very strong income off low rents at a good yield, proving that not all retail is bad. The speculative industrial developments are in areas of strong demand and low supply, and we are confident they will lease well, whilst the two office properties in Birmingham provide an attractive repositioning opportunity off low rents”.

Aver Property was advised by Colliers, Avison Young, Knight Frank and CBRE. Cushman & Wakefield, Burbage Realty and Savills acted for the vendors.

The five investments follow Aver’s first transaction at the beginning of this year, which was the acquisition of 2 Brindley Place, a prominent 78,000 sq ft office building on the Brindley Place estate in Birmingham, from Hansainvest for £29.25 million, which reflected a net initial yield of 6.5%.