Irish investors in final furlong to buy Bond Street’s Boodles

Crown jewel: Boodles on New Bond Street
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Sloane Capital, backed by racing tycoons Magnier and McManus, closes in on Mayfair jewellery store

Irish investment vehicle Sloane Capital is poised to buy one of the most exclusive retail blocks in London’s Mayfair.

Sloane, which is run by Limerick-based investor Aidan Brooks and backed by racing tycoons John Magnier and JP McManus, is understood to be under offer to buy the Boodles jewellery store at 178 New Bond Street.

The property is being sold by LaSalle Investment Management, and was brought on to the market last month through Cushman & Wakefield with a price tag of £13m.

It is understood that Sloane is paying around £15m, reflecting a yield of less than 3.75%.

It is let to Boodles, formerly Boodle & Dunthorne, for another 24 years. The jeweller opened the UK’s most expensive shop when it agreed to pay a rent of £800 zone A on the property (news, 03.11.06).

Boodles was up for sale at the same time as the Tiffany & Co and Diesel stores, which are both understood to be under offer.

The properties were on the market for £80m and £90m respectively.

The Boodles sale comes as second-quarter research from CB Richard Ellis predicts that Irish investment in the UK market will fall from a record €5.5bn (£3.7bn) in 2006 to €4.5bn (£3.1bn) this year. The report attributes this to rising interest rates and a more competitive UK market.

Irish investors only accounted for 6% of investment purchases in the central London market in the first three months of 2007. US and Canadian buyers accounted for 24%, while UK institutions accounted for 23%.

Last month, Brookes, Magnier and McManus bought an office and retail building on Place Vendôme in Paris, one of the city’s most exclusive locations. Sloane Capital paid around €335m (£228m) for 9 Place Vendôme, as well as assuming debt of more than €280m (£190m), reflecting a net yield of 3.5%.

The trio have spent more than €1bn (£680m) in two years on commercial properties. Earlier this year, Sloane paid $75m (£37.8m) for the Bloomingdale’s department store in New York’s Soho area.

In November 2004, Sloane bought the City of London headquarters of Unilever in a sale and leaseback funded by Magnier and McManus. The vehicle paid around £170m for the property at 100 Victoria Embankment.

Cushman refused to comment on the sale of 178 Bond Street.


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