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Martineau Galleries gateway site part of £370m UK buying bonanza

Estates Gazette 25.03.2006

Private investor reaches £1bn with big retail buys

Sheffield-based private investor Glenn Maud took his property portfolio to £1bn with the acquisition of a further £370m of UK assets this week.

Former lawyer Maud, who retired from the business in the 1980s before turning to property, has made one of Birmingham's largest retail investments with the acquisition of Belfast Office Group's Martineau Place and a nearby block owned by AXA.

He has paid around £200m, a 5% yield, for the 375,000 sq ft island site, which is a gateway to the Birmingham Alliance's proposed Martineau Galleries.

Maud spent a further £140m on retail this week, buying the 295,000 sq ft Galleries and Marketgate centres in Wigan from Prime Commercial Properties and the 180,000 sq ft Paisley centre from Fordgate.

He also bought the 260,000 sq ft Scottish & Newcastle distribution centre in Hemel Hempstead from Gazeley for £30m, a 7% yield. The warehouse was damaged in the Buncefield oil depot explosion in December but is still operational.

Sources close to Maud said: “He sees good value in the market. He has built up a large portfolio quickly and wants to build it up even more. There are still opportunities to buy and yields are still attractive.”

At the start of 2005, Maud's firm, Propinvest, owned just £350m of property - but almost doubled that during the year.

Niche agency HP Four, which advised Maud on the Birmingham acquisition, refused to comment.

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