BT pension scheme MEPC property developer sold to Hermes

Hermes Investment Management has acquired MEPC, the UK property developer owned by the BT Pension Scheme (BTPS).

Hermes, which was formerly owned by BTPS, and GE Real Estate took MEPC private in 2000 as each acquired 50% of the company. Three years later, Hermes bought GE’s stake.

 

In April 2018, Federated Investors acquired a majority interest in Hermes from BTPS.

Hermes said today it is acquiring MEPC in a deal that “enhances Hermes Real Estate’s proposition by adding specialist asset and development management expertise to its existing capabilities”.

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Chris Taylor, CEO of Hermes Real Estate, said: “There are many synergies between the two brands and an already long-lasting and successful relationship, which can now be built upon further.”

James Dipple, CEO of MEPC, said: “This is an exciting transaction for MEPC, allowing us to combine our long track record of success with a leading real estate investment manager.

“Our strategic ambitions for the future are fully aligned with those of Hermes and, therefore, a strong basis for the growth of MEPC.”

A spokesperson for Hermes and MEPC said: “Having Hermes as MEPC’s parent company provides a long-term basis for its future growth with little disruption to day-to-day business. Certain investments processes are already integrated with those of Hermes.

“This acquisition greatly enhances our real estate proposition by adding specialist asset and development management expertise.

“In particular, it supports our core strategy of creating urban regeneration schemes, which not only deliver attractive financial returns but will have a positive impact on the environment and communities in which they are located – a key market differentiator for the business ahead.”

Source: IPE Real Asset

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LRG acquires Dunlop Heywood in a surprise move into commercial property

The Leaders Romans Group has extended its activities into the commercial world with the acquisition of chartered surveying company Dunlop Heywood.

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Dunlop Heywood – established in 2008 – specialises in business rates liability and advises a wide range of clients in the aviation, docks and harbours, energy and renewables, retail and leisure sectors.

Agency group makes surprise move into commercial propertyLRG chief executive Peter Kavanagh says: “This is a fantastic acquisition for LRG, which will further enhance the range of expert property services we can offer our clients. Dunlop Heywood has a very well established market reputation for providing expert rating advice, and I am confident … we will be able to grow the business in the coming years.”

Building Project: The 4 major Health and Safety signs you must know

When undertaking a building project you must comply with Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996. Safety signs and signals are required where, despite putting in place all other relevant measures, a significant risk to the health and safety of employees and others remains.

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Safety signs are in place to alert employees, customers and visitors to the risks and, where appropriate, show safe practice. Safety signs are used in a range of environments, for example traffic signs in the workplace to regulate road traffic, safety signs to identify hazards or safety signs to indicate where fire exits and fire extinguishers are.

The 4 major Health and safety signs are;

  1. Safety Condition signs (Green and White) – giving you information that is only about safety action, location of safety equipment, safety facility or escape route. Safe condition signs generally use a white safety symbol on a green background.
  2. Warning signs (Yellow and white) – alerting you to hazards or danger indicate when there are potential  safety risks or dangerous situations that require attention to anyone who is on the premises in order to protect themselves. They are highly visible and colour coded to make them easier to understand, warning signs are yellow.
  3. Mandatory signs (Blue and White) – meaning you must do something and is depicted by a blue circle with a white pictogram. They inform employees and visitors that a certain course of action must be taken; such as wearing PPE, sounding horn and washing hands. Below are our most popular ISO compliant mandatory symbols. Wear eye protection.
  4. Prohibition signs (Red and white) – meaning you must not do something such as a behaviour / action likely to cause a risk to health or safety. Prohibition signs are required to be red circle with a red diagonal line through it (running from top left to bottom right)

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PGIM Real Estate acquires office building in Berlin

PGIM Real Estate, the property focused arm of PGIM, has acquired an office building in Berlin on behalf of its European value-add strategy.

Bought for an undiclosed amount, the property is located in Berlin City West, with a lettable area of some 24,500 dquare metres over nine floors. It includes 410 underground parking spaces. It is located within walking distance of the Kurfürstendamm, Bikini Berlin shopping centre and the Berlin Tiergarten.

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Current tennants include BDO, Union Investment, Kauhof Group, and the Institute for Quality Assurance and Transparency in Health Care.

Dominik Brambring, head of transactions for Germany and the Netherlands at PGIM Real Estate, said: “Berlin is a real estate market with significant growth potential. It continues to gain recognition from national and international companies, driving high demand for adequate office spaces, which is offset by a relatively low supply. This acquisition demonstrates again our ability to identify attractive properties in a highly competitive market, in line with our investment strategy and in the interest of our institutional investors.”

Source: Investment Europe

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Property owner fined £260k by HSE for worker falling from height

Sir Robert McAlpine has been fined £260,000 after a worker fell 4.8m through an unprotected opening at a property owned by a director of the firm.

Mark Smith, 36, was attaching straps to a water tank so it could be moved in order to paint flooring at Stone Gappe Hall in Bradford, which is owned by group director Richard McAlpine, when the incident occurred.

Smith was hospitalised for nine days after fracturing his leg, ankle, kneecap, eye socket and nose, cutting his face, injuring his ribs and sustaining a concussion.

He continues to suffer from the psychological effect of the incident and has not been able to return to work since, according to a statement by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

An HSE investigation found that he fell through an opening that did not have fixed-edge protection.

Sir Robert McAlpine of Eaton Court, Maylands Avenue, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to single breaches of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

The company was fined £260,000 and ordered to pay £38,299 in costs.

HSE inspector Paul Thompson said: “Falls from height often result in life-changing or fatal injuries. In most cases, these incidents are needless and could be prevented by properly planning of the work to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures are in place such as edge protection or barriers built to the correct standard.

“This incident could have easily been prevented if the company had undertaken a thorough risk assessment and installed adequate edge protection around the opening to prevent falls.”

Source: Construction News

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Property funds remains closed despite M&G raising £70m

M&G has extended the suspension to dealing in its £2.5 billion Property Portfolio fund, which blocked investors from withdrawing their cash last month.

The fund group said it had raised £70 million after completing the sale of the Ravenside Retail Park in Edmonton and exchange contracts on the disposal of an office block in Staines. A further £67 million is in the pipeline from properties ‘either under offer or in solicitors’ hands’, the fund group said.

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‘The immediate priority is to raise cash levels in a controlled manner,’ the fund group said in an update to investors. ‘The fund managers and associated teams are working hard to increase the fund’s cash position.’

The total £138 million of sales would more than double the cash level in the fund, which stood at 4.8% of the fund at the end of November, or around £120 million.

But that would still be well below the heavy holdings of a number of rival property funds, of which some have more than a quarter of their assets in cash.

The Ravenside Retail Park sale will meanwhile chip away at the fund’s large weighting to the under-pressure retail sector, which amounted to 34% of the fund’s assets at the end of November, higher than that of most rivals.

M&G was forced to suspend dealing last month after suffering nearly £1 billion of withdrawals in the space of 12 months. The fund fell 8% over the last year and is kept off the bottom of the Investment Association’s UK Direct Property sector only by the Aberdeen UK Property fund.

Source: Citywire Funds insider

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