Spotify-backed company, Uber and Airbnb investor acquires former home of steel giant from late owner of Blackburn Rovers

A real estate company backed by an investor in Spotify, Uber and Airbnb has acquired an industrial estate in Lancashire that once housed steel giant from Jack Walker, owner of Blackburn Rovers.

Walker Industrial Estate in Blackburn was bought by 4e Industrial, which is backed by US-based TPG Real Estate Partners.

The site is located next to junction 5 of the M65 and currently houses eight fully leased units totaling 324,340 square feet and with a total annual rental income of £ 1.49 million.

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Tenants including Wincanton, Perspex International, Steel Dynamics, NeoNickel (Blackburn), Pentland Wholesale and Carlisle Interconnect Technologies.

The 21.3-acre site was once home to Walker Steel, the trading empire led by the late Blackburn Rovers owner Jack Walker.

Following the sale of the company to British Steel in 1989, the site was redeveloped by the Walker family.

Other investments of TPG Real Estate Partners include Ducati and Burger King.

Founded in February 2021, 4e Industrial specializes in multi-tenancy and light industrial real estate.

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Walker Industrial Estate is the latest addition to its portfolio which also includes Crendon Industrial Estate in Thame, Alpha Business Park in Birmingham, Ashroyds Business Park in Barnsley, Melford Court in Warrington, Faraday Park in Swindon and The Ringway in Huddersfield.

B8 Real Estate acted as agent for the buyer. The seller was a client of CBRE Investment Management, advised by M1 Agency.

Simon Wood, Investment Manager at B8 Real Estate, said: “We are delighted to have been able to secure this high quality industrial park for our client in the face of fierce competition. Lancashire has a vibrant industrial base which is driving demand for space along the M65 corridor from Chorley to Blackburn.

“We particularly liked the Walker estate because of its excellent layout and the value-added opportunities.

“This agreement demonstrates how large foreign investors are increasingly willing to look beyond the M6 ​​corridor and make significant investments in industrial areas like Blackburn.

“As such, this represents an important vote of confidence in the northern economy.”

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