Mall Fund buys Galleries

The Mall Fund, Capital & Regional's town centre retail fund, has broken the£1.5 billion barrier with the purchase of the 320,000 sq ft (29,730 sq m) Galleries shopping centre in Bristol from Norwich Union. Norwich Union - one of the founders of the Mall Fund - has taken units in the fund as payment.

The Galleries was developed in the early 1980s. It has more than 100 tenants including Argos, Boots the Chemists, Woolworths, Virgin Megastores, Gap and MK One. According to Mall Fund chief executive Ken Ford, the scheme is set to benefit from the regeneration of the adjoining Broadmead shopping centre, where the Bristol Alliance plans a major covered centre to be anchored by Marks & Spencer.

The deal means that the Mall Fund owns 18 UK shopping centres with a combined floorspace of 5.5 million sq ft (510,950 sq m). The aggregate value of the fund is£1.54 billion. Fund manager Philip Nell expects it to grow. 'The new equity this acquisition brings will enable the fund to continue towards delivering its goal of growing to at least 25 centres,' he said. Strutt & Parker, Nabarro Nathanson and Berwin Leighton Paisner advised the Mall Fund.