Town Centre Securities to buy shoe retailer HQ

THE property investment company Town Centre Securities (TCS) has signed a deal to buy the headquarters of a Yorkshire-based shoe retailer, it was revealed yesterday.

Leeds-based TCS has agreed terms on a proposed transaction to acquire Apperley Bridge Ltd.

Apperley owns a 6.8 acre site and associated buildings at Apperley Bridge, near Bradford, which is the head office of Barratts Trading, which operates the Barratts and Priceless shoe chains.

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The vendors are Edward Ziff, the chairman and chief executive of TCS, and his brother Michael Ziff, who is a non-executive director at the company.

A statement issued by TCS yesterday said: “The company will pay £1.31m in cash to purchase the entire share capital of Apperley.

“The cash consideration will be adjusted based on the net asset position of Apperley at the date of completion, with the maximum consideration being capped at £1.34m. The company will advance a loan of £1m to Apperley in order for it to repay an outstanding loan on its balance sheet.”

TCS expects the net assets of Apperley, following completion, to be around £1.45m.

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The statement added: “Upon completion of the transaction, the company intends to pursue a strategy of obtaining planning permission for alternative residential use which, if granted, may give rise to a significant future gain.”

Edward and Michael Ziff are both directors and shareholders of TCS and Apperley, so the deal must be approved by shareholders.

A deal was struck in January to save Barratts and Priceless, after the company struggled due to the downturn in consumer spending.

A team led by chief executive Michael Ziff agreed a deal to buy 89 Barratts and Priceless stores and their internet retailing operations from administrators Deloitte.

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The deal saved 1,184 jobs across the UK, Ireland and at Barratts’ Bradford head office.

However, 39 stores and 14 concessions closed with 680 redundancies. Another 1,600 jobs were lost in December 2011 after attempts to find a buyer for Barratts’ concessions business failed.

The Ziff family has been in the footwear industry for almost a century. Max Ziff, who fled to Britain from Russia, set up the first Stylo shoe shop in Leeds, before moving to Huddersfield in 1919.