Manchester

Talks over sale of Trafford Centre for £1.6bn

The Trafford Centre
Image caption Peel would continue to have a 19.9% share of The Trafford Centre if the sale goes ahead

One of the largest shopping centres in UK could be sold for £1.6bn.

Peel Group, which owns The Trafford Centre in Greater Manchester, have said they are in "advanced discussions" with Capital Shopping Centres Group (CSC).

CSC owns 13 shopping centres, including the Arndale in Manchester, Metrocentre in Gateshead, and Lakeside in Essex.

Peel would have a 19.9% share in CSC and its chairman John Whittaker would become deputy chairman of CSC.

Mr Whittaker would also join the CSC board as a non-executive director, if the sale goes ahead.

'Business as usual'

The cost of the sale would also include taking a £800m debt into account.

Peel, which is the largest privately-owned landowner in north-west England, said the talks reflected the firm's "long term, ongoing strategy to broaden its investments in many diverse sectors through partnerships and co-investment with complementary businesses".

They added: "The Trafford Centre's success lies in its first rate management and excellent staff and Peel Group has assured the Trafford Centre team that it's very much business as usual."

The 1.9m sq ft centre at Barton was opened in 1999. It now attracts millions of visitors every year.

In a statement, CSC said: "CSC confirms that it is in advanced discussions with Peel in respect of the acquisition."

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