9th September 2015: Gilbert Evans acted as advisors to BlackRock Real Estate on its purchase  of a portfolio of eight garden centres within The BlackRock UK Long Lease Property Fund from LaSalle Investment Management for £112.5m – reflecting a net initial yield of 5.25%. 

The Ferndown Portfolio spans 91.3 acres, with locations in Bicester, Cadbury, Endsleigh, Cardiff and Woodford. It comprises six sites let to Wyevale Garden Centres and two additional sites occupied by Notcutts and Squires Garden Centres. The portfolio provides an average unexpired lease term of 29 years. Rent reviews are either RPI-linked or fixed uplifts.

Mike Gilbert, agency partner at Gilbert Evans, commented: “The deal reflects the strength of the increasingly attractive garden centre sector.  The portfolio represents some of the best garden centres in the UK.”

Geoffrey Shaw, portfolio manager of the BlackRock UK Long Lease Fund said:  “The garden centre market is unique and purchase opportunities come around very rarely. The portfolio is well-placed to take advantage of future demographic shifts and this high quality set of assets will deliver strong index-linked income streams for the fund’s investors.”

Gilbert Evans is the UK’s leading garden centre property specialist.  Across the last two years alone the practice has advised on over £200m of garden centre transactions.