Date31 Aug 2022
CategoryAdvisory, Restructuring & Insolvency
Business as usual whilst assets of major Scottish shopping centre marketed for sale
Aberdeen Retail 1 Limited and Aberdeen Retail 2 Limited, the Guernsey-based owners and operators of the Bon Accord shopping centre in the centre of Aberdeen, have been placed in administration.
James Fennessey, Blair Milne, Colin Haig and Matthew Richards, Partners at Azets, have been appointed joint administrators of both companies and will be managing the administration to ensure the centre trades on a ‘business as usual’ basis whilst working with agents to market the assets for onward sale.
The Bon Accord Shopping Centre, which was built in 1990, extends to two main buildings on George Street and Union Street and extend to 460,000 sq ft of retail space with 72 retail units over three floors and 1400 car parking spaces in two owner-operated car parks to the north and south sides of the centre. Additional period buildings on George Street, Upper Kirkgate, Loch Street and Gallowgate provide a further 90,000 sq ft of retail and ancillary space, 6,300 sq ft of offices, residential units and the listed Students Union building. The average annual footfall to the Bon Accord Shopping Centre pre-Covid was 15 million visitors.
A diverse range of retail, hospitality and business tenants are based in the Bon Accord Shopping Centre and include a wide range of national high street retailers, specialist shops, restaurants, café's and administrative businesses.
The joint administrators will implement a strategy to ensure that the operating companies can continue to trade whilst the centre and its assets are prepared for sale and encourage interested parties to make contact as soon as possible. Specialist commercial property agents Cushman & Wakefield have been appointed by the joint administrators to prepare sales particulars and manage the sales process. All centre management employees are being retained following the appointment of the administrators.
The administration has been caused by unsustainable cash flow problems stemming from the on-going impact of the Covid pandemic, rising operational costs and intense retail competition.
Commenting, James Fennessey, Restructuring Partner with Azets said: “The Bon Accord Shopping Centre and the St Nicholas Centre, which merged with the Bon Accord in 2020, are long-established and retail centres with a very strong brand name and awareness across the North of Scotland. They have consistently attracted and retained a wide range of quality retail tenants over the years, and regularly draw hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The contribution of the Bon Accord to the economy of the North-East is significant and the centre is as much a social hub and focal point for the city as it is a retail centre. We will now quickly stabilise the trading position and wish to reassure tenants, shoppers and stakeholders that it is very much business as usual.
“Interested parties are asked to contact the selling agents, Cushman & Wakefield, as soon as possible as we are keen to try and find a buyer promptly.”