Jenners snapped up in Â£50m deal
What do you do if you are worth an estimated Â£4.5 billion and one of the largest landowners in Britain beside the Queen?
The answer appears to be snap up one of the world’s oldest and most celebrated department stores.
Danish billionaire property magnate Anders Povlsen is said to have bought the landmark Jenners building on Princes Street for more than £50 million.
The married father of four owns the Bestseller fashion group, which employs 15,000 people and has 6000 shops around the world. The firm’s international brands include well-known names such as Jack & Jones, Vero Moda and Jacqueline de Yong.
Povlsen was born in 1972 to Troels Holch Povlsen and Merete Bech Povlsen. The family’s first clothes store opened in 1975 in the tiny Danish town of Brande. Other outlets soon followed and, at the age of only 28, Anders was made the sole owner of Bestseller by his father.
Povlsen reportedly owns £100m of Highland property, having purchased several Scottish estates including Glen Feshie in the Cairngorms and the 18,000-acre Eriboll estate in Sutherland.
The department store building on Princes Street is currently let to Jenners, with 23 years remaining on the lease.
Jenners, now part of the House of Fraser group, opened in 1838 and was Scotland’s first department store. It is believed £32m was paid for the building in 2005 when House of Fraser took over.
Earlier this year, owners Glen Properties put the landmark up for sale with a reported asking price of £52m.
There is no need to worry about the famous Jenners name disappearing any time soon though, as House of Fraser has a long lease on its occupancy of the building.
Real estate company Harper Dennis Hobbs confirmed that it had “advised the buyer as Edinburgh’s famous Jenners department store owned by Glen Properties changed hands”.
And if it is Povlsen who has bought the building, it will be the latest in a long line of investments in Scotland which have made the Dane the second-largest private landowner here after Buccleuch Estates.
An Edinburgh developer who asked not to be named said: “This is clearly a straightforward investment in Jenners as a brand and to gain the rental income which is said to be in excess of £2m per year.
“It’s a listed building and so iconic that no-one would be allowed to change it very much, so while there might be plans in the very long term I would think it will be business as usual for Jenners.
“It’s a good bit of business by Glen Properties and a solid investment by Anders Povlsen.”