Sheppards Pharmacy, Aberdare

A group of 14 properties trading as Sheppards pharmacies across Wales were sold at an auction, real estate auctioneer Acuitus has said.

It said private investors bought the properties for prices ranging from £83,000 to £572,000 and for yields as low as 5.25 per cent, after some strong competition.

The 14 pharmacies are all let on new 15-year leases to Avicenna, which acquired the entire Sheppards pharmacy business in April.

Avicenna CEO Jonathan Power told Pharmacy Business: “Avicenna is committed to the future of those pharmacies and this is a sale of the freehold building only. Our store colleagues, operations and the locations of our stores are unaffected.

“The reason is that our strategy is simply not to invest in property but to continue our long-held plan to grow our pharmacy footprint – I can reaffirm that is still our intention.”

The majority of the properties sold for 15-20 per cent ahead of their initial guide prices.

Charlie Powter of Acuitus commented: “Today’s results have reaffirmed that pharmacy freeholds are very much on the radar of private investors who see them as being underpinned by sustainable businesses which – in this instance – are also well-let to a strong covenant in the form of Avicenna.

“Whilst some of the properties were sold to local buyers these investments attracted much national interest too“.

The ongoing pharmacy businesses at all of the locations are retained by Avicenna and are unaffected by the sale of the underlying property investments.

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