Deal almost done for new Mercat owners

The Mercat shopping centre, Kirkcaldy
The Mercat shopping centre, Kirkcaldy
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A NEW owner is believed to have been found for the beleaguered Mercat Shopping Centre in Kirkcaldy.

The Press understands that initial negotiations for a private pension fund company to take over the reins of the centre started last week.

At the time of going to Press nobody was prepared to comment, but it is believed that the centre, which will continue to trade as normal, will be managed by a Glasgow-based real estate investment firm which has companies worldwide.

The future of the town centre premises has been uncertain since the former owners City Site Estates called in the receivers earlier in the year.

Misery

And the misery has continued with the closure of a number of important traders in the centre such as the Officer’s Club and Vodafone, and just this week, the Carlton Bakery and associated Miss Maude’s Coffee Shop.

On the bright side, Peacocks clothing shop closed ... and then re-opened.

Bill Harvey of Kirkcaldy4All told the Press that discussions on the sale had been ongoing for some time, but it was his understanding that the centre had been sold.

Steven Roberts, manager of the Mercat Shopping Centre said he was unable to comment “at this stage.”

Administration

The recent uncertainty over what the future holds has also given rise to fears locally that ambitious plans for the development of the centre are in serious doubt, if not completely dead in the water.

The Mercat was placed into administration in November of last year after City Site Estates’ annual financial report outlined serious financial difficulties.

Mercat Kirkcaldy Ltd. called in administrators KPMG after the report showed that City Site Estates had lost over £24.2 million from 2009/10 and its net worth had decreased by almost half its original value.

The centre was placed on the market in February along with three High Street shops also owned by the company.