Associated British Foods has signed a deal to acquire the Pavilions shopping centre in Birmingham, opening the possibility that it could house the world’s biggest Primark.
Drapers understands that Associated British Foods (ABF) acquired the freehold to the 250,000 sq ft centre last week.
Although it has been previously reported that ABF was hoping to create a 150,000 sq ft standalone store – equivalent to the current largest unit, on Manchester’s Market Street – it is thought the Primark could over time occupy as much as 200,000 sq ft, making it the retailer’s largest.
Businesses that currently occupy the centre, including the likes of Marks & Spencer, H&M and Waterstones, have been informed of the deal. While some of the space is expected to continue being sub-let to other retailers, it is not known which will stay.
Primark bought the shopping centre from the UBS Triton Property Fund. The fund was advised by property agent Savills and retail property specialist Kitchen La Frenais Morgan, which had not responded to requests for comment as Drapers went to press.
The deal was rumoured to be worth around £60m, although Drapers understands the final figure has come in at significantly less.
The value chain already has two stores in Birmingham: one on New Street and one in the Bullring. It is not known whether these will remain open.
The move comes as the company also plots its launch in Italy. It is thought to be looking at opening stores in Venice and Milan by the end of 2015.
Primark declined to comment on both matters. The value giant will publish its third quarter results on Thursday (July 10).