The UK’s biggest-ever retail park investment deal has fallen through, Pillar Property has announced.

Pillar, manager of the Hercules Property Unit Trust (HUT), put the 416,535 sq ft (38,695 sq m) Fosse Park site near Leicester on the market in June, with a£320 million price tag. However, just six months later the sale is back to square one.

Pillar Property chairman Raymond Mould said: ‘Having received several expressions of interest and a number of firm proposals, we entered into exclusive negotiations with a preferred bidder. However, these negotiations have recently terminated and we are reassessing the options available, which may include our retaining a holding in the asset.’

Pre-tax profits for Pillar rose 71 per cent to£4.8 million in the six months to September 30, with net asset value up 30 per cent to 678p a share.

Elsewhere, Mould announced the formation of an out-of-town property vehicle, the Hercules Income Fund. This will focus on retail parks considered too small for HUT and will place a greater emphasis on income. To kickstart the fund Pillar has injected two retail parks, the Kingsteignton Retail Park near Newton Abbot in Devon, and the Barnstaple Retail Park at Barnstaple in Devon, with a combined value of £18.8 million.

Mould said HUT now comprises 23 UK retail parks worth£2.4 billion, and a review of the portfolio was under way to identify sites where Pillar could add value. ‘Major planning applications for retail extensions have already been submitted in Edinburgh and Chester for more than 300,000 sq ft [27,870 sq m], which will include an anchor store in each location,’ he said.