IO founder John Sims makes industrial comeback

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John Sims, the pioneer of multi-let industrial property investment, is making a comeback with backing from Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster’s property group.

IO Investment will have an initial £35m to spend, targeting multi-let estates and small business parks valued at between £2.5m and £4.5m.

The company will be managed by Sims and Angus Scott-Brown’s IO Asset Management, the latest in Sims’ IO-branded companies, which he founded as Industrial Ownership 26 years ago.

Grosvenor this morning said it would “increasingly use third party specialist expertise to gain exposure to sectors and geographies which are not currently accessible through its proprietary and fund management activities.

“The IO opportunity is the first investment to further this strategy.”

Chris Taite, Grosvenor investment director, said: “The IO investment is a significant first step in realising our indirect investment ambitions.

“Grosvenor aims for geographic and sector diversification and our exposure to the industrial sector is a notable omission in the UK. John and Angus’ track record of delivery in this area is exceptional and we share their enthusiasm for this new investment vehicle.”

The value of Grosvenor increased by 8% to £2.86bn last year, the company announced yesterday.

The increase in the group’s shareholders’ funds was driven by a 7% increase in the value of Grosvenor’s properties to £5.84bn, which led to a pretax profit of £315m. This was lower than the £394.8m profit in 2010 because of falls in values, notably of retail properties in Europe.


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