£800 million of retail parks changes hands in four deals
Almost£800 million of out-of-town retail space has changed hands in four deals, including the UK's premier retail park, Fosse Park in Leicester (pictured). The string of deals was sparked by Hercules Unit Trust's decision to sell Fosse Park, which commands the highest rents of any out-of-town location, at more than£80 per sq ft (£860 per sq m). REIT Asset Management, which is owned by private investor Leo Noe, made the winning bid of£308 million for the park, which is anchored by Marks & Spencer, Next and Bhs.

Hercules has started reinvesting the proceeds, buying Rotherham's 562,000 sq ft (52,210 sq m) Parkgate scheme in South Yorkshire from Stadium Group for£260 million, representing an equivalent yield of 5.25 per cent. Some£200 million of the cost has been met in cash, with the remainder raised by the sale of the Newport Retail Park in South Wales to Stadium for£60 million.

Meanwhile, Hercules manager Pillar Property has sold the Manchester Fort retail park to Universities Superannuation Scheme for£167.3 million, representing a net initial yield of 4.5 per cent. Manchester Fort, which is being developed in two phases, will provide more than 320,500 sq ft (29,775 sq m) of retail space. Tenants at the scheme include George at Asda, Boots, Comet, Sports World, B&Q, Next and Borders.