Major commercial property investment firm sees portfolio wound up

Major commercial property investment firm sees portfolio wound up



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A major commercial property investment firm, with a portfolio last valued at £65.5 million, has been taken into administration, reports Property Week.

Proinvest LLP is run by Lancashire-based entrepreneur Tim Knowles who also owns property firm First Investments and retail empire Botany Bay.

The firm, whose parent company is First Investments, has its registered offices in Chorely, Lancashire, and was placed under administration by the accountancy firm Chantrey Vellacott DFK. Global real estate advisors DTZ were appointed Land and Property Act (LPA) Receivers of the company’s assets in April this year.

Proinvest LLP held freehold sites across the UK, including industrial estates in Cheshire and Bicester and South Wales. The company had long term borrowings of £76 million, with liabilities outweighing its assets of £76 million – of which £67 million was owed to Barclays bank.

In 2008 Mr Knowles had an overall property portfolio worth £500 million. This is isn’t the first time however that one of Mr Knowles’ ventures has failed and he was put under investigation by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, (now BIS), after another of his companies, Baysouth, went into voluntary liquidation in 2002.

The liquidation resulted in several unpaid creditors and in 2008 Knowles was disqualified from taking on any new company directorships as a result. The disqualification was in the minimum bracket, the shortest time possible, as the judge recognised that Knowles had in no way acted dishonestly or with financial impropriety.

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