LONDON, February 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Topland said it sees 2013 as a "very active buying phase" seeing particular value in strong UK secondary property and revealed it spent over £200m in the last 18 months.
Sol Zakay, Chairman of Topland Group Holdings Limited said: "Recent acquisitions by Topland represent the beginning of a very active buying phase for the group. The UK team is focused on acquiring well located assets with short income streams and active asset management opportunities.
"I believe the UK market will "bottom out for an increasing range of the better secondary assets this year and there is value to be had. For now the UK is one of the favourite markets for the group, although the group continues to look across Europe, especially Germany and Spain, for prime secure long term income."
Over the last 18 months Topland has added 1.1m sq ft and over 700 hotel rooms to its portfolio with a focus on regional offices, hotels and retail. Topland is well placed to add value to the UK assets it has acquired through its in house asset management team which has doubled in size in the last year.
It has always managed the groups UK portfolio in house and the team has a wealth of experience across the country. In 2012 it completed 325,000 sq ft of lettings which added £2.3m per year to the group's annual rent roll. Void rates are below 5%, an impressive statistic across its 265 UK property portfolio of 12m sq ft and over 400 individual tenancies.
Lending has become Topland's second core business after property investment. In less than two years 22 loans have been completed in excess of £100m. The book is now maturing with a number of redemptions having been made, all successful. Its current lending focus is on senior and stretched senior lending for bridging and residential development. Mezzanine and preferred equity is also available.
In addition to these two core businesses of property and lending Topland has also invested in other areas, including natural resources and solar power. A joint venture with Barclays has already committed over $1.1bn to 14 global start-up businesses in the natural resource sector. In the solar energy sector, Topland's partner ESCO is active in both the domestic and commercial space.
Topland substantially reduced its gearing across its entire investment portfolio in 2012 and 2013 will see a continuation of this from its cash rich position. In addition to fresh injections of equity this process is considerably assisted by loan repayments and increases in the value of investments.
Sol Zakay is excited about the evolution of Topland and the expansion of the other divisions within the Group: "The lending team continues to grow and I see it becoming a market leader. Topland's joint venture with Barclays Natural Resources Investments continues to strengthen with over $1 billion now committed to start up businesses. In addition, the group's solar interests are also expanding as this market matures.
"Topland has diversified, and is now a specialist in a number of fields and due to its entrepreneurial nature Topland will continue to investigate new opportunities within and outside its core operations."
Robert Gibson, Robert.Gibson@mj2ltd.com, +44(0)20-78346263
SOURCE Topland Group Holdings Limited