Henderson Global Investors has been given the go-ahead to proceed with the purchase of a portfolio of designer factory outlets for about £380m in what would be the largest UK property deal this year. Financial Times

Henderson is proceeding with due diligence on the purchase of three designer outlets, including the flagship Cheshire Oaks centre, the Bridgend Designer Outlet in Wales and the Swindon Designer Outlet in Wiltshire.

Henderson has fought off competition from a number of traditional property investors, which will give hope that the investment market is seeing a floor after almost a year of heavy declines in values and paralysis at the top end of the market.

The properties are expected to form the basis of a new retail property fund for Henderson.

The fund manager is to buy the properties from limited partnerships comprising a number of UK institutions, including the BP pension fund, AXA and Morley Fund Management, as well as US real estate investor Liquid Realty.