Belfast Telegraph

Marks & Spencer has a new landlord after Corbo sale

By Margaret Canning

The Belfast city centre home of Marks & Spencer has been sold in a multi-million pound deal, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

Owner Corbo Properties today unveiled the £8.75m sale of 48-54 Donegall Place to an international institutional investor.

The purchase price reflects a net initial yield of 5.25%.

The 83,000 sq ft building is in a prime shopping area and is let to Marks & Spencer, forming part of the retailer's flagship store in Northern Ireland.

Corbo, headed by Ballymena man Sam Morrison, also owns the Fairhill Shopping Centre in Ballymena, Cityside Retail Park in Belfast, retail property in the Boucher Road in south Belfast and other assets around the UK.

The disposal of the Donegall Square site follows Corbo's £34.9m sale of Newry's Damolly Retail Park in June to investment trust, Metric Property Investments.

Stephen Kirkpatrick, chief executive of Corbo, said: "It is very encouraging to see the growth of confidence in the Northern Ireland property market within the institutional investment sector.

"This sale is further testament to the high quality nature of our property base.

"We are currently looking at a number of exciting opportunities to further grow Corbo's portfolio through our dynamic asset management approach and strong financial position."

James Horgan, associate director of CBRE Investors, said: "This was an excellent opportunity to purchase in a prime city centre location on behalf of one of our pension fund clients and with the tenant, Marks & Spencer plc, committed long-term to the property."

According to The Sunday Times Rich List, Sam Morrison is the third richest man in Northern Ireland with Norbrook founder Lord Ballyedmond in top spot.