BlackRock exits UK land developer for £120m

The real estate arm of the asset management giant has sold Lands Improvement to UK property company Telereal Trillium.

BlackRock Real Estate has sold UK land development company Lands Improvement to UK property company Telereal Trillium for £120 million (€164 million; $185 million).

The company was acquired by global asset management giant BlackRock back in December 2009 for the firm’s 2007-vintage BlackRock Europe Property Fund III.

“Lands Improvement has undergone significant change in the last six years and has a strong track record in sourcing and executing land transactions. We have realized a good return for our investors and are confident that the business’ healthy pipeline of deals will allow it to thrive further in the future,” commented Chris McCormack, portfolio manager at BlackRock Real Estate.

As a strategic land developer, Lands Improvement acquires greenfield and brownfield sites and prepares them for residential-led development. The company’s portfolio of land holdings consists of around 2,500 acres of land across the UK – a total of 26 assets at different stages, from planning promotion to land sales.

By purchasing Lands Improvement Telereal Trillium wants to take advantage of the UK’s shortage of residential assets. Graham Edwards, chief executive, said: “At a time when there is a chronic housing shortage within the UK, we are delighted to be acquiring one of the major players in addressing the housing shortfall.”

“We believe that it provides a great platform to make the most of the assets it already owns, to make further investments into new sites, and to add value to sites within Telereal Trillium’s existing nationwide portfolio.”

BlackRock Real Estate is the dedicated real estate investment group within BlackRock and invests in strategies across the risk and return spectrum. The business manages $21.5 billion of private and public real estate equity and debt on behalf of investors worldwide in 17 offices across 11 countries in Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US.

Telereal Trillium is one of the UK’s largest property companies, owning and managing a £5.5 billion portfolio with a total floor area of 86 million square feet. Operating in three business areas – property partnerships, investment, and development – it has established a UK-wide portfolio of more than 8,000 properties.