Norwich developer secures 454m funds
Fast-growing Norwich-based property developer, Targetfollow, is hotly pursuing a number of new overseas investment opportunities following a £454 million funding deal with the Bank of Scotland.
The commercial property specialist entered the Continental Europe market for the first time this year and is looking for more opportunities to invest in shopping centres, offices, retail parks and logistics buildings.
The company’s ability to refinance a portfolio of 10 UK properties – including the iconic Centre Point office tower in London – in the current lending climate has been described as a “clear vote of confidence” of its capacity to deliver quality development schemes. Targetfollow’s 250 staff oversee a commercial property investment and development business whose focus on major city centre opportunities has produced a development and investment portfolio with a value of £3 billion.
Chris Lacey, executive director for national development at commercial property specialist CBRE, who acted on behalf of Targetfollow, said: “The bank has given a clear vote of confidence in Targetfollow’s ability to develop major projects as it has lent against not just solidly created investments but some serious hope values on quality, non-consented – hence complex – schemes.
“When most large deals are now difficult to get good credit finance terms for, this is a fantastic show of belief in these schemes.” Chairman and founder Ardeshir Naghshineh, said: “This facility enables us to pursue further a strategy of expansion in the UK and Continental Europe, where we have already acquired commercial and mixed-use properties in France and Germany in the past 12 months and are in talks regarding other opportunities.
“Our business philosophy has been to establish long-term relations with our tenants and increase the value of our portfolios by a direct, hands-on approach, which has proved very successful both here and overseas.”
Steven Atwell, director of the Bank of Scotland team which provided the finance package, said: “The portfolio offers an exciting opportunity to add real value through Targetfollow’s involvement in a number of key regeneration projects in London, Birmingham, Norwich and Stockport.”
In Norwich, Targetfollow is forging ahead with its £60 million Duke’s Wharf scheme and submitted a detailed planning application at the end of October to transform the former Eastern Electricity site in the city centre into a vibrant, new mixed-use quarter. More than 1,000 workers could eventually be based in the 250,000 sq ft complex, which Targetfollow hopes to open to the first occupants within two years and which will become the company’s own new UK HQ.
Another significant Norwich project for Targetfollow is the redevelopment and improvement of the Hall Road Retail Park and the former Bally shoe factory site, which the company owns. The intention is to submit a planning application for this £50m scheme early in 2008.