Feb 5, 2023
Billionaire Mike Ashley Eyes £100 Million Bet on UK Malls: Times
(Bloomberg) -- British billionaire Mike Ashley is in advanced talks to buy two UK shopping malls valued at a combined £100 million ($121 million), The Times newspaper reported.
Ashley’s Frasers Group Plc is lining up bids for The Mall in Luton — a town just north of London — and the Overgate Shopping Centre in Dundee, Scotland. The deals would value the malls at about £70 million and £30 million respectively, the report said, without saying where it got the information.
Frasers declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News.
The clothing retailer is hunting for bargains as the UK consumer industry struggles to recover from lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic that shuttered shops and malls. The reported valuation for the Overgate mall would represent a big loss for Legal & General Group Plc, which paid Land Securities Group Plc £125 million for the site nine years ago.
Frasers’ interest in buying the Overgate mall was first reported by the trade publication React News, the Times said.
Purchasing either asset would mark Ashley’s first ownership of a shopping mall — a prospect that could unnerve his retail rivals, who would end up as his tenants. While the former Newcastle United FC owner was in pole position to buy both sites, negotiations are ongoing and it was not certain that the deals would be completed, the report added.
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