Sep 11, 2009
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JLL lands biggest UK mall sale instruction of 2009

Sep 11, 2009

LONDON, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Real estate broker Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL.N) is to sell the Silverburn shopping mall in Glasgow, Scotland, in a deal that may spark the mass transfer of distressed assets to the UK commercial property market.

The centre has been offered for sale on behalf of financial services firm Deloitte, acting as receivers of the mall's holding vehicle The Elementary Property Company and Retail Property Holdings Limited, which owns the asset.

"Silverburn will be the largest lot-sized UK shopping centre to be offered in its entirety to the market in 2009," said David Raven, the agent leading the sale at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Silverburn is home to more than 95 shops and 14 restaurants, including the largest Next (NXT.L) and Tesco (TSCO.L) stores in Scotland.

British commercial real estate prices have plunged about 45 percent since June 2007, leading to breaches of financial covenants and a surge in the debt-to-equity ratios of many real estate deals.

Banks have so far been slow to force sales of distressed assets in today's depressed market, but as price falls start to slow, there are signs some lenders are considering offloading such properties to relieve pressure on their balance sheets.

Jones Lang LaSalle did not disclose a marketing price for the centre, but said the proposed sale of Silverburn, together with other sales due before end-2009, would lift total annual turnover in this market segment to 2 billion pounds ($3.35 billion) from 1.075 billion pounds.

This annual turnover figure is double the sales activity for 2008, illustrating the return of confidence to the market, Jones Lang LaSalle said.

(Reporting by Sinead Cruise; Editing by Andrew Macdonald)

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