Virgin Media and Morrisons have both successfully transferred the lease liabilities and
management responsibility of their surplus property portfolios to lease liability specialists.
The transactions incorporate the transfer of all risks and obligations relating to these
surplus portfolios and enable both companies to focus on their core operational estates.
The Virgin Media surplus portfolio, which comprises of 28 office buildings spread across the
UK with a total floor area of 530,000 square feet, was transferred to Legacy Portfolio.
The Morrisons surplus portfolio, which comprises of 28 unused retail and commercial
properties around the UK, was transferred to Surplus Property Solutions in a multi-million
Paul Harris, Executive Director of Property at Virgin Media, said:
"We are pleased to have transferred the management obligations of our surplus properties
to Legacy Portfolio. This now enables the team to focus on adding value to our operational
estate of over 650 properties rather than spending resources and time managing a diverse
Charles McKendrick, Head of Asset Management at Morrisons, said:
"This deal enables our Estates team to focus on our sizeable store portfolio where we are
continually striving to deliver a great retail experience for our customers. We can now do this
in the knowledge that the experts at SPS are aligned with our interest of driving redundant
property costs out of our business."
Alexander Anton, Chairman of Legacy Portfolio, said:
"Legacy is delighted to have acquired the Virgin Media portfolio, securing its reputation
as the leading player in the growing market for acquiring surplus lease liabilities. Having
successfully de-risked Wolseley UK from its surplus portfolio within twelve months, we are
looking forward to working with Virgin Media to achieve the same result. This transaction
endorses the success of the Legacy model for corporates both in the UK and USA."
Commenting on the transaction, Adam Foster, Principal of SPS, said
"We are delighted that Morrisons has trusted us to work this portfolio of surplus
leasehold liabilities, and we look forward to high levels of success. In today's straightened
times, more and more companies are faced with large portfolios of surplus property. SPS
provides a solution to this growing issue which offers rewards for those companies who employ
us to rid them of unwanted properties."
Matthew Stone, Partner of Cushman & Wakefield's EMEA Corporate Finance team
"This transaction is the fourth major leasehold liability transfer in the past 18 months
and demonstrates how the market is continuing to mature. We are now seeing unprecedented levels
of activity and expect further portfolios from both public and private sector occupiers to come
to the market during the course of this year."
Cushman & Wakefield acted for both Virgin Media and Morrisons.