Reclusive property billionaire John Whittaker has emerged as the source of a £260m stake-building in Land Securities using an offshore company called Albright Investments.

The company has declared a stake of slightly more than 4% in Land Securities, making it one of the three biggest shareholders in the property group after Barclays and Legal & General.

The company has been linked to Whittaker, who runs Peel Group, one of the UK’s largest private developers and owner of big infrastructure assets such as John Lennon airport in Liverpool.

Through Peel, Whittaker owns huge swathes of the north-west, including some 25,000 acres of development and investment land, as well as the ports of the Mersey Docks & Harbour Company, Clydeport, the Manchester Ship Canal and Medway Ports.

This is the first time Whittaker is known to have taken a direct investment interest in the listed property market, although he has built stakes in other companies that have property interests in the past.

Financial Times