Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Grainger 'Desperate' for Developments in Region

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Grainger 'Desperate' for Developments in Region

Article excerpt

Byline: JONATHON MANNING Reporter jonathon.manning@reachplc.com @JONNYAMANNING

THE CEO of the UK's biggest residential landlord has said it is an "embarrassment" that the company is not developing any sites in the North East.

Grainger Plc was founded in Newcastle in 1912 and its head office is still based in the city, but despite investing huge sums of money in new housing developments, the firm has no ongoing projects in the region.

Speaking to The Journal, CEO Helen Gordon said Grainger was on the lookout for a development opportunity in the North East.

"At the moment it is a real embarrassment that we have not secured anything in Newcastle. I am desperate to do something there," Ms Gordon said.

"The city has great fundamentals, we have a huge team based there, and we have a director of asset management and director of investment who sits on one of the local housing boards.

"We are anxious to get something done up there."

Grainger - the UK's largest residential landlord - is in the process of boosting its private rented sector (PRS) portfolio. The firm announced yesterday it has agreed to acquire the entire share capital of the GRIP Real Estate Investment Trust, which is valued at PS696m.

GRIP includes 35 assets - around 1,700 units - across London and the South East. Grainger currently owns 24.9% of the portfolio but will buy the remaining 75.1% from its joint venture partner APG. The deal is valued at PS396m and will immediately start to generate PS32.5m of rental income each year.

Ms Gordon said: "I am pleased to announce today the acceleration of our growth strategy in the UK private rented sector with the proposed acquisition of GRIP REIT, our PS696m PRS co-investment vehicle with APG, the expansion of our PRS investment pipeline to PS1. …

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