Friday 16 December, 11am: Only lonely creeps in the office today. I tell Team P over Zoom that GBH has snagged a mandate to make soft bids for assets being unloaded by funds to meet redemption requests.
“What’s a soft bid when it’s at home?” queries Posh Boy, who seems to be wearing Rupert Bear pyjamas. “Book value minus 50%,” chirps Sporty Girl, pounding away on her Peloton.
Many a true word. That’s pretty much the mandate from the investor group fronted by a chancer I know from college who says she has amassed £70m of pledged equity and can raise £30m of debt for the right kit. You don’t ask where the money comes from, not at this stage anyway. Some autocracy or other, I bet. She spent a decade in Dubai. Her investors are seeking long-lease, low-hanging plums in the £7m to £15m range, preferably retail.
“Oi!” I say, as Young Thruster opens a beer. “Pay attention! Anybody know a worried fund manager we can approach on the softly, softly?” “How about Blackstone?” smiles Posh Girl, referring to the news that even the Masters of the Real Estate Universe are suffering cash outflows in one giant fund.
Young Thruster snorts beer out of his nose. We all guffaw. Great joke to end the year.
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