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  • By Richard William

Portfolio sales market given timely boost by two deals worth £92m

Two portfolios are on the cusp of changing hands for a combined £92m as the hitherto dormant market shows renewed signs of life.

The contrasting Project Infinity and UKLE portfolios

BMO Real Estate Partners is close to acquiring a portfolio of prime mixed-use properties from Aviva Investors for £50m, while Columbia Threadneedle has exchanged contracts to buy an industrial portfolio in the North East for £42m.

BMO will exchange contracts imminently to buy the eight-strong Project Infinity portfolio at a yield of around 6.3%. Columbia Threadneedle will pay a yield of around 7.5% for the UK Land Estates portfolio.

“As we move into the fourth quarter, the portfolio market seems to be picking up a bit after a very long period of quietness,” one senior agent told Property Week.

“Activity levels so far this year have been almost non-existent compared with previous years but we’re hopeful that the final three months will see a marked pick-up in deals.”

Project Infinity comprises two logistics units, a multi-let industrial estate, three retail warehouses, a high-street retail parade and an office building.

It covers almost 310,000 sq ft in space located across the UK and generates an annual income of more than £3.3m, predominantly from the retail warehouse and logistics sectors.

BMO Real Estate Partners had been under offer to buy Winnersh Triangle business park near Reading for around £355m earlier this year, but the park was eventually bought by Frasers Property International as one of several sold by Oaktree Capital Management.

The UKLE portfolio comprises nine multi-let industrial units and one single-let industrial facility, all in the North East, and produces an annual income of almost £3.5m.

Columbia Threadneedle, which is due to complete on the deal next week, has bought the portfolio for its Property Unit Trust fund and will look to take advantage of the region’s soaring rents, which grew 7.5% last year.

Allsop is advising Aviva and Knight Frank is representing BMO on the Project Infinity sale. Knight Frank is selling the UKLE portfolio.

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