It has been announced today that a Canadian property investment company has become the new owner of the Trafford Centre.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) – which is headquartered in Toronto and is a well-established investor in UK shopping centres, with specialist experience of owning large scale retail assets – has acquired ownership of the shopping centre after failing to find an alternative buyer upon previous owner Intu collapsing into administration back in June.
No price has been revealed, but it is understood to be in the region of £800 million, which is less than the £1.3 billion valuation quoted in August this year.
Last month, it was announced that Manchester-based CBRE Group and international firm Savills had been appointed “to manage the centre and day to day operations” of the mall, but now CPPIB – through its wholly owned subsidiary CPPIB Credit Investments Inc (CPPIB Credit) – has acquired sole ownership.
In 2017, CPPIB provided a £250 million loan to Intu to secure against its prime asset.
But this was not enough to save the shopping centre giant after it was hit hard due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – with many of its retail tenants going out of business or unable to pay rent – before it collapsed into administration under the weight of £5 billion in debt.
Intu’s ongoing economic struggles also came as value of shopping centres has fallen dramatically against the backdrop of consumers’ increasing preference for online retail.
Despite this, the new owners remain hopeful for the centre’s long-term prospects.
As part of its new ownership plan, CPPIB says it will also “evaluate the Trafford Centre’s complex capital structure to ensure it supports the return to long-term viability.”
Speaking on the acquisition, Geoff Souter – Managing Director and Head of Real Assets Credit at CPPIB Credit – said: “The Trafford Centre is one of the UK’s top five shopping centres, welcoming more than 30 million shoppers annually, and counts many leading global retailers among its occupiers.
“While conditions for retail in 2020 have been very challenging, we are able to take a long-term view and believe that, with strategic management and investment, the Trafford Centre has strong prospects.
“An immediate priority is to support the Trafford Centre’s management, ensuring continued optimal operation of the Trafford Centre, and to appoint a long-term expert operating partner.”
Tameside police officers hailed ‘absolute heroes’ after saving the life of a seven-year-old girl
Two Tameside police officers have been hailed as “absolute heroes” after saving the life of a seven-year-old little girl.
It comes after emergency services were called to an address in the Greater Manchester borough of Tameside earlier this week (29 November), and found a young girl who was struggling to breath and coughing up blood after choking on a sweet.
Police Constables Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell, from Greater Manchester Police‘s (GMP) Tameside division, were first on the scene.
To the huge relief of the girl’s parents, who were said to be “understandably distressed” and concerned for her welfare, PC Kincaid jumped straight into action and was able to utilise his first aid training to full effect by going on to successfully dislodge the sweet from the youngster’s throat, and then helping to calm her down before the paramedics arrived.
Whilst PC Kincaid looked after the little girl, PC Blundell did “everything he could” to help the parents remain calm.
Paramedics then took over once they arrived, and the young girl was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Reflecting on the incident, and hailing his officers “absolute heroes”, Superintendent Mike Walsh, from GMP’s Tameside district, said: “PCs Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell acted without hesitation during the incident, and took control of the situation that they were faced with.
“They deserve every credit for staying calm under extreme pressure and for working together as a team and utilising their training to lifesaving effect, and I’m sure the girl’s parents and family will consider them to be absolute heroes.”
“We’re both glad that we were in the right place at the right time,” PC Kincaid added.
“I have a daughter the same age as the little girl who needed our help, and I cannot tell you how much of a relief it was when she started breathing normally and said she was okay after I had managed to dislodge the sweet.