I doubt Nick Leslau would admit to doing so, but putting such an iconic asset as Madame Tussauds up for sale could well be his way of calling the top of the market.
At £320m-plus, the world famous waxworks attraction certainly offers Leslau’s Secure Income REIT a juciy return. Having recieved a few unsolicited approaches, he now clearly believes now is a good time to sell. If not, then he could have always said its not for sale.
Half way through writing this piece he gave me a call. “I’m not saying the central London market isn’t quite steamy at the moment,” he said. “But I don’t believe this is the top of the market.”
There you go. When I began this article I claimed he wouldn’t call the top of the market, and half way through my guess is confirmed.
But what does this mean for the other 27 freeholds he holds, including the Alton Towers theme park, Thorpe Park and 21 private hospitals. The portfolio was valued at close to £1.5bn last June.
During our chat Leslau said none of the other assets were up for sale, as he was in them for the long term. But what if the top of the market does finally arrive, and he gets some unsolicited approaches for, say, Alton Towers? Will he sell the theme park then?
Well, Leslau is one of the canniest property investors of the past two decades. He knows when the time is right and, no doubt, he will make his investors some fabulous returns when that time comes.