May 28, 2019


Negotiating the UK’s biggest ever industrial sale and leaseback transaction was no sweat for Gent Visick, which has just advised Sports Direct on the sale of its headquarters and distribution centre at Shirebrook in Derbyshire with a massive footprint of approximately 1,800,000 sq ft.

The £120.05 million sale is the UK’s biggest industrial sale and leaseback transaction in terms of footprint size and the fifth largest by value. The vast 75-acre site was acquired in an off-market deal by an international pension fund.

Approximately 4,000 people work at the site and it has six buildings, which include the firm’s national distribution centre as well as Grade A head office space, brand partner offices and two retail stores. It also has more than 1,300 car parking spaces. Sports Direct, which is the UK’s largest sporting goods retailer, has now leased the site for a term of 15 years.

Rupert Visick, Managing Director at Gent Visick who brokered the deal on behalf of Sports Direct said: “This is an impressive site that has been developed in phases, to an exceptional standard and specification, over the last 14 years with work completing in 2018.

We approached a number of potential buyers throughout the world and were able to generate strong interest due to its central UK location and the calibre of Sports Direct as a long-term tenant, as well as the overall quality of the site. Completing a deal of this size, for one of the UK’s prime super-sheds, on behalf of a household name, is a superb result for Gent Visick.”

Michael Murray, Head of Elevation and Innovation at Sports Direct, said: “We have recently completed our Shirebrook campus project, consisting of a semi-automated warehouse, training academy, five retail units and a gym.

“We believe that this transaction will realise great long-term value for the business and its shareholders, as we continue to invest in our elevation strategy across the UK and Europe, whilst partnering with an investor who shares our vision. We look forward to a close working relationship with the site’s new owners.”