F&C Reit Asset Management and AREA Property Partners have today completed their £600m acquisition of the 3.4m sq ft Dawnay Day portfolio, one of the biggest deals since the onset of the credit crunch.

The partners exchanged contracts on the deal with administrator BDO Stoy Hayward at the end of February (Property Week, 06.03.09) and have now completed on the deal.

The portfolio comprises 211 properties, with 70% retail element and includes properties such as the Austin Reed store on London?s Regent Street.

Dawnay Day's primary lender, Norwich Union, will continue to provide debt on the portfolio.

The joint venture set up to buy the properties is a vehicle arranged and managed by F&C Reit Asset Management between Trafalgar Overseas Ltd, advised by F&C, and Apollo European Real Estate Fund II, managed by AREA..

Leo Noé, executive chairman of F&C REIT Asset Management, said: ?We are delighted to have completed on the portfolio. There was plenty of interest in the market for it. We have created immediate value and have extended our property asset management with this portfolio of 211 properties.?

William Benjamin, managing partner of AREA?s European activities, said: ?We look forward to continuing our long and fruitful relationship with REIT with their newly merged partnership with F&C.?

DTZ advised on the deal.