HEREFORD’S Maylord shopping centre has a new owner promising developments “in due course” over the future for the quarter.
Lunar Holdings Sarl – a joint venture between affiliates of real estate investors Apollo Global Management and M&M Asset Management – confirmed their takeover of the centre this week with no related sums disclosed.
The new owners have appointed property consultancy Prime Retail as Leasing Agents and London based chartered surveyors Lee Baron as Managing Agents.
In a statement, the new owners said they were working a “number of new initiatives” to enhance the scheme and retail offer and hoped to make announcements in due course.
Herefordshire Council owns the freehold for Maylord which is worth more than £33k a year in rent.
In December, the Hereford Times revealed that receivers had been appointed to the centre with existing tenants facing an investigation into their occupancy rights.
Then, Maylord was under management appointed by London-based real estate and investment management specialist Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).
Tenants at the complex were sent letters from JJL confirming that receivers had been appointed under the terms of a mortgage given by Aviva Commercial Finance to Croskeep Ltd, part of the DRE Group, the centre’s previous owners.
That appointment suspended the powers of Croskeep Ltd and its managing agents DRE Group and DRE Group Property Services to deal with the centre, including the right to receive all income, rent including arrears, and other benefits.
Accounts submitted to Companies House showed that, as at January 31 last year, Croskeep had a net worth of minus £4,262,605,cash at bank of £650,807, liabilities worth £5,043,702, and assets worth £2,327,919.
The Hereford Times had previously revealed DRE as owing £41,690,890 to creditors as at January 31 this year – against fixed assets worth £45,287,300 – with the sum primarily made up of bank loans and mortgages secured, along with overdrafts, on the group’s assets.
JJL also retained Lee Baron to manage the centre and collect rent, fees and all other payments.
At the time, tenants were told that any payments made into the previous accounts would be taken as compensation for occupation of property and not as rent.
Tenants were also told that nothing done by the receivers could be taken as the adoption of any lease, tenancy, licence, or other rights they have, nor did it waive any of the rights of Croskeep Ltd or “any other persons” against them.
In 2007, the Hereford Times revealed that the council’s cabinet had agreed in secret to explore a “new deal” for the centre which had seen no significant investment since opening 20 years earlier.
By August that year, property investor PruPIM – now M&G Real Estate - had put its interest in the centre up for sale.
DRE subsequently invested £40m in acquiring the centre in 2008