Omagh retail park sold to US investment group for £16.5m

Omagh retail park sold to US investment group for £16.5m

The Showgrounds Retail Park in Omagh has been sold to a Boston based investment group for £16.5 million.

Columbia Threadneedle acquired the 90,000 sq ft asset in an off-market deal in October 2021, the Irish News has reported.

Developed in 2002, the retail park was last sold by the Ballymena-based Corbo group in 2015 to Tristan Capital Partners and Pradera for £26.7m.

The site, which is home to Marks & Spencer, Argos, Next, River Island and Sports Direct, had not been listed for sale on the open market.

Tristan is involved in a number of well-known shopping centres around the north, including Erneside in Enniskillen.

Although headquartered in Boston, USA, the new owners of the Showgrounds have an extensive UK investment portfolio, albeit largely confined to Britain.

According to its website, Columbia Threadneedle employ around 2,500 people and currently manage around £557 billion in investment assets across 19 countries. It’s thought to own a number of office buildings in Northern Ireland.

The investment firm is ultimately owned by the New York Stock Exchange listed Ameriprise Financial, which is headquartered in Minneapolis.

The details of the asset manager’s acquisition only emerged following an extensive trawl of commercial property deals done in the north during the fourth quarter by researchers at Lambert Smith Hampton.

It’s one of four major retail deals to feature in the commercial real estate consultancy’s 2021 Investment Transactions Bulletin, which chronicles market activity throughout last year.