Northern Ireland

Belfast's CastleCourt complex sold in deal worth £125m

CastleCourt Image copyright Savills NI
Image caption The shopping centre has been bought by County Down-based property company Wirefox

The CastleCourt shopping centre in Belfast has been sold for £125m, in the biggest commercial property deal of recent years in Northern Ireland.

The buyer is Wirefox, a Holywood, County Down, based property company headed by BJ Eastwood, grandson of the famous Belfast bookmaker.

The centre had been owned by Hermes Investment Management based in London.

CastleCourt opened in 1990 and at one point, before the property crash in 2007, was valued at £350m.

In a statement, Wirefox said it planned "significant capital expenditure in the complex", details of which would be announced later in the year.

Estate agents Savills, which was involved in the sale, said: "Despite the shock of Brexit and ongoing political uncertainty, the retail sector in Northern Ireland continues to perform strongly.

"We expect Wirefox to reap the benefits of this high-profile acquisition."

According to accounts, CastleCourt generates about £10m annually in rent from its scores of retail tenants, who include anchor store Debenhams.

Hermes has owned the centre since 2012.