Duke aids RBS shopping centre

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The Independent Online

Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster's property company, has been called in to manage one of Royal Bank of Scotland's struggling assets, a highly leveraged shopping centre in Buckinghamshire.

The property industry is on the lookout for asset management deals like this one, hoping to earn fees by helping the banks turn their investments around. Once Grosvenor has improved the fortunes of Friars Square in Aylesbury, RBS will try to sell the centre.

RBS's troubled asset division, West Register, took over the centre in a deal with Canadian property-to-mining giant Brookfield, which has sold its retail assets to concentrate on City offices.

Brookfield bought Australian construction company Multiplex in 2007. RBS provided the debt when Multiplex bought Friars Square for £89.5m that same year. Last month, Brookfield sold its £260m stakes in retail schemes to its joint venture partner, the Reuben brothers.

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