Property developer bailed out of near £700m debt by local MPs

Property developer bailed out of near £700m debt by local MPs



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Four Norfolk MPs have stepped in to stop a local property developer, Targetfollow, from going into administration.

The developer, whose portfolio includes London’s Centre Point tower, faced administration after loans of over £200 million, granted by Lloyds Banking Group, expired last week. Another £454 million worth of loans are due to expire in October.

However, at the last minute, Norman Lamb, Chloe Smith, Richard Bacon and a fourth, anonymous, MP began a series of negotiations with Lloyds so as to prevent them calling in the administrators. As a result, the company has been allowed more time to repay the loans, keeping the their 290 employees’ jobs safe – at least for the time being.

Targetfollow Group has properties in about 80 locations with 600 to 700 tenants and employs around 90 people locally and 200 nationwide. The parliamentary intervention is unusual, as Targetfollow aren’t particularly big employers.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk, Norman Lamb said: ““The company is important to Norfolk. I was willing to assist by talking to the bank. It was a constructive discussion.”

Founded by Ardeshir Naghshineh in 1992, Targetfollow is one of the UK’s leading property investment and development companies. As well as Centre Point, the portfolio boasts high profile buildings such as Baskerville House in Birmingham, Harford Place in Norwich and Stockport’s Grand Central development.

The initial loans were taken out with HBOS in 2007 as the property market peaked. The ensuing economic downturn has led to a significant decrease in value for the portfolio and as a consequence Targetfollow have been unable to repay the loan.

According to the Financial Times, Targetfollow’s portfolio is currently valued at around the £400 million mark.

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