Delancey buys UK assets from distressed seller

The London-based firm has acquired a package of 12 properties from private real estate firm Propinvest.

London-based private equity real estate firm, Delancey, has bought a package of 12 properties in the UK in a distressed deal.

Delancey, which began raising an evergreen opportunistic fund in 2007, holding first close of €1.5 billion in July of that year, has acquired the portfolio for an undisclosed sum from private company Propinvest Group, with existing lender Royal Bank of Scotland remaining as the financing bank.

The firm said it would asset manage the properties, the largest of which is the East Kilbride shopping centre in Scotland, which has 250 retail units.

The package called the Blade portfolio, also contains a mixture of assets such as the Gate Leisure Centre in the north east city of Newcastle, as well as offices, retail parks, fitness centres and logistics.

In a statement, Delancey said in an announcement on the deal, the investment was a “complex” transaction however it could add-value to the properties through asset management.

Propinvest, run by entrepreneur Glenn Maud, was one of the most aggressive buyers of real estate before the financial crisis.

In January 2008, Spanish bank Santander sold to Propinvest its headquarters near Madrid for €1.9 billion. That deal came shortly after the firm was involved in the acquisition of Citigroup’s European headquarters in London’s Docklands for around €1.2 billion. In that instance, Santander and Allied Irish Bank supplied the debt. According to the Irish reports today the building is about to be put up for sale.

The Blade portfolio is not the only deal Delancey is currently chasing. Yesterday it was revealed as one of the parties vying to buy 1,400 homes and develop another 2,500 at the Olympic village for the London 2012 games. It has teamed up with Qatari Diar of the Middle East.