Investcorp joins with Citivale to develop £40m portfolio

PROPERTY giant Investcorp has joined forces with a Yorkshire property company to manage and develop a £40m property portfolio as it makes its first investments outside the US.

James Appleton-Metcalfe, managing director of Citivale.

The company, which is one of the biggest international real estate investors in the US, has acquired seven industrial properties across the UK, including two in Yorkshire, from LC Industrial.

The properties include Oakwell 27 at Batley and Stadium Way in South Elmsall as well as sites in Liverpool, Warrington, High Wycombe, Glasgow and Edinburgh, all of which had been managed by Leeds-based Citivale under the LC Industrial partnership with LRE Capital.

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James Appleton-Metcalfe, the managing director of property investment and asset management firm Citivale, said: “These are very exciting times for Citivale.

“For us, the Investcorp deal represents a successful exit from our partnership with LRE Capital ahead of schedule in our business plan.

“We have been delighted with the progress we have made with all seven properties, maximising their potential and attracting new occupiers.

“We will now be building on this success with Investcorp, making the most of a burgeoning logistics and distribution sector in the UK.”

He added: “Our focus will be to ensure that every element of this high-quality 700,000 sq ft industrial property portfolio will achieve its potential by repositioning the seven properties through comprehensive refurbishment, re-gearing leases and minimising voids.

“Citivale’s reputation is based on this approach and this helped our partnership with LRE Capital to be so successful.”

The Humber Enterprise Park at Brough, East Yorkshire, which was part of the original LC Industrial portfolio, remains under the ownership of the Citivale/LRE Capital partnership.

The site comprises 1.3 million sq ft of office and industrial space and 20 acres of development land.

So far £6m has been spent on regenerating the whole site, described as “a jewel in the Humber’s crown” with another £1.2m earmarked for further improvements.

It is estimated that 1,600 new and sustainable jobs will be created when the park is fully developed during the next three years.

Mr Appleton-Metcalfe said: “The scale of the development and the investment at Humber Enterprise Park meant that it did not fit naturally into the portfolio sale.

“We will continue to proactively manage the park, attracting new tenants, refurbishing old buildings and developing unused land. So far it has been a tremendous success story and we will ensure that continues.”

Mr Appleton-Metcalfe, a former property fund manager who launched Citivale in 2010, has been keen to expand its joint venture property investment division.

The firm focuses on turning around struggling multi-let office and industrial assets, reducing void rates, building on rents and increasing property values.

Looking ahead, he said: “Apart from our partnership with Investcorp, we have a strong pipeline of deals ahead of us. Our combination of local and specialist knowledge, entrepreneurial energy and a professional, diligent and analytical style enables us to locate exactly the kind of commercial property that will increase in value.

“We are currently working with successful developers and investors such as Peveril Securities, TH Real Estate and the Sabal Financial Group on projects across the UK, which, with our new partnership with Investcorp, will keep us extremely busy over the next 12 months.”

Launched in 2016, Investcorp’s European strategy aims to create a portfolio of income-generating assets for investors.