British Land, the FTSE 100 real estate investment trust, is to reduce its exposure to the health club racket with the sale of five of clubs in the Virgin Active estate.
The sale price of £33m to three institutional buyers represents an average net initial yield of 6.5%.
British Land first became involved with the Virgin Active portfolio in July last year, paying Societe Generale £179m for 17 outlets.
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The clubs it has sold are located in in Gloucester, Neath, Manchester, Oxford and Poole and are among the smallest in the portfolio and with the exception of Oxford, are located outside the South East.
The company now holds a core portfolio of 12 premium racquet clubs of which over 85% (by value) are located in the South-east and over 50% within the M25, giving a fairly clear idea where British Land's strategic priorities lie.
Charles Maudsley, Head of Retail for British Land, said of the deal: "I am pleased with the level of institutional demand we have seen for these assets. This reflects the high quality of the assets and demonstrates our ability to work successfully with banks and other sellers to unlock opportunities and create incremental value for our shareholders."
British Land shares have risen 5% so far in 2012.
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