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July 2014 news archive

IM PROPERTIES COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF FORE BUSINESS PARK, SOLIHULL



Award-winning Warwickshire-based developer, IM Properties has completed the acquisition of Fore Business Park, near Solihull from BAM for £21 million.

Located on junction 4 of the M42, Fore Business Park features 66,000 sq ft of existing office accommodation in two buildings – Fore 1 and Fore 2 – which were speculatively developed in 2009 and are currently at 85 per cent occupancy. 

The site includes six acres of development land, with planning secured for two further office buildings totalling an additional 90,000 sq ft.

John Hammond, Investment Director at IM Properties, said: “Fore Business Park offered us two high quality buildings with existing income streams from four very good tenants, with the majority of leases extending over 10 years. The M42 market has witnessed a dramatic turnaround in recent months, exhibiting a strong demand that has left little stock for tenants to consider, particularly in good quality buildings that are landlord controlled.

“The market is currently starved of buildings along the M42 corridor that offer larger floorplates, so we will be looking to remodel the existing planning consent in order to ensure that we are delivering a desirable, cost-effective solution for commercial occupiers. Whether we develop speculatively or wait for a pre-let will be dictated by the market.”

The acquisition of Fore Business Park aligns with IM Properties’ strategy to acquire good quality, income producing investment stock whilst increasing its exposure to development. 

Martin Hill, development director for BAM Properties, said: “It speaks volumes about the strength of the M42 market that IM Properties has chosen to take the whole of the FORE business park development. They inherit some remaining letting potential in phase 1 and a superb consented site. It’s both an excellent investment for them and it’s proven to bear out the speculative development approach BAM adopts.”
IM Properties already has a presence in Solihull, having completed the acquisition of the Mell Square shopping centre last year and its ownership of Solihull Business Park, which will soon be home to the first John Lewis Customer Fulfilment Centre.

Existing occupiers at Fore Business Park include Goodrich, Arcellor Mittal, E-tech and BAM.

Savills acted on behalf of IM Properties in the completion of the acquisition, with BAM represented by CBRE.

IM PROPERTIES REPORTS PRE-TAX PROFIT OF £16.6 MILLION AS IT COMPLETES REBALANCING STRATEGY


IM Properties (IM), one of the UK’s largest privately-owned property investment and development businesses, has reported a strong set of financial results for 2013, recording pre-tax profits of £16.6 million.

In the financial year to December 2013, the Warwickshire-based firm increased its net assets from £296 million to £323 million and boosted rental income by 11.1 per cent to £37.7 million. There was also a significant increase in the value of properties under construction, up £27 million to £47 million and an overall uplift in capital values of £3.5 million.

Major refinancing has also resulted in 96 per cent of IM’s bank debt secured to 2016 and beyond, ensuring that the company is prepared to meet the growing demands of a post-recessionary property market.

While the results show that IM’s overall pre-tax profits for 2013 have fallen by £6 million from the previous year, this is reflective of the completion of the company’s strategy to reallocate resources to build its development pipeline and rebalance its portfolio towards high quality prime and institutional grade properties. This has included the acquisition of key assets including Solihull’s Mell Square shopping centre. 

The company’s bespoke residential arm, Spitfire Properties LLP, marked its third full year of trading having expanded the number of development sites within its portfolio across central England and with trading stock of some £20 million and with in excess of 25 sites securing the pipeline out to 2016 and beyond.

Internationally, IM Properties has continued to divest its European portfolio with the disposal of its one million sq ft distribution centre let to BWM and a portfolio of four further distribution units around Germany. The company has also increased its presence in the United States, with the construction of a further three Mariano’s supermarkets in Chicago adding to its existing stock.

Adrian Clarke, Finance Director, IM Properties, said: “Our growth strategy is absolutely on target and these results are as we expected, with a number of key investments and acquisitions now completed. This is a clear demonstration that we have taken advantage of a window in the development cycle and we are confident that the investment that we have made here will bring us significant benefits in the coming years.

“We will now continue to develop our portfolio of strategic assets and ensure that we build on the strong performances that we have already seen across both the residential and commercial sides of the business.”

An award-winning developer, IM Properties’ portfolio includes North Warwickshire’s Birch Coppice Business Park, one of the region’s biggest employment success stories of recent years, as well as premier Birmingham industrial park and development site, The Hub and Solihull Business Park.  The company’s rental portfolio boasts a number of landmark institutional offices in Guildford and prime retail warehousing on Purley Way in Croydon.