A company run by Phillip Nelson and Simon Bakewell that went into administration 11 months ago, has been bought by Peter Gubb’s Highcross.
Westport Land, a subsidiary of Trehaven Group, which was set up by the founders of property services firm Nelson Bakewell (now called NB Real Estate), has been bought by Newbury-based Highcross for around £75m.
Malcolm Shierson and Robert Pick of Grant Thornton were appointed as administrators to Westport Land on 7 December 2007 by Capmark Bank Europe, which had provided a £95m loan to the company. They appointed Franc Warwick to sell the company and, when this was completed on 7 November, ended the administration.
Properties owned by Westport Land are thought to include: Burlington House, Botleigh Grange Business Park, Southampton, let to solicitor Clarke Wilmott and asset finance company State Securities; Europa House, Bartley Wood Business Park, Hampshire, let to BMW for its financial services HQ; 800 Park Avenue, Aztec West, Bristol; land and buildings on Walton Street, Aylesbury; and two properties in Cheshunt and Portsmouth.
The purchase is understood to be for Highcross’s third UK property fund, which has £1.7bn of firepower after completing its fundraising in March.
More than £500m of equity was raised for Highcross Fund III, mostly from US investors that backed Highcross’s first two funds, with debt from Royal Bank of Scotland and a syndicate of other banks.
Like the first two funds, the new fund focuses on the regional office and industrial markets – Highcross has offices in Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester but with the ability to exploit opportunities in other sectors.