Nick Leslau’s new property investment company Max Property Group, which aims to take advantage of UK property opportunities, announced its intention to float on AIM and the Channel Islands Stock Exchange today.

The Jersey-incorporated closed-ended property investment company will be chaired by ex-Savills chairman Aubrey Adams and will be externally managed by Leslau’s Prestbury Investments.

Max is hoping to raise between £150m and £200m of equity in an initial public offering (IPO). It already has the backing of hedge fund group Och-Ziff which will be a cornerstone investor in the company and has committed to invest £35m. The management team, its partners and affiliates have also committed around £25m to the IPO.

Prestbury Investments is owned and managed by a team led by Leslau, Mike Brown, who left Mike Slade’s Helical Bar to join Leslau, Tim Evans and Sandy Gumm.

The company intends to invest over a 5 year period and plans to make a final return to shareholders, subject to market conditions, over an investment cycle of around 7.5 years.

Max said its investment strategy is ‘to exploit current weakness of the UK real estate market through opportunist acquisition, active asset management and judicious use of non-recourse borrowings to enhance shareholder returns at a time in the cycle with significant opportunities’.

It said that shareholders will receive cash proceeds ‘equal to the net proceeds of their investment together with a preferred return of 11% a year compound prior to payment of any management incentive payments’.

Morgan Stanley is acting as bookrunner, lead manager, nominated adviser and underwriter and Morgan Stanley Securities is acting as joint broker to Max. Oriel Securities is acting as co-lead manager and joint broker to Max.

Conditional dealings on AIM in Max shares are expected to begin on 21 May and unconditional dealings on AIM and CISX are expected to start on 27 May.

Aubrey Adams, proposed chairman of Max Property Group, said: 'Difficult conditions in the UK property market present a compelling investment opportunity for those with sector experience and an in-depth understanding of long term supply and demand issues. Nick, Mike, Tim and Sandy have proved themselves to be astute investors through all stages of the real estate cycle over the past 25 years and they believe that we are now approaching the bottom of the cycle. I am confident that Max will prove an attractive vehicle to those who would like to back their formidable track record.'