In 2005, redoubtable property entrepreneurs Raymond Mould and Patrick Vaughan (both 60-odd) sold their company Pillar to British Land at a healthy 10% premium to net asset value (and, rumour has it, on a yield of less than 4%). The deal netted them millions. Mould scooted off and was later followed by Vaughan, but their sidekick Andrew Jones (then 37) stuck with BL.
Fast forward three years and young Andrew is in a pickle. His chief exec Stephen Hester has jumped ship to run nationalised RBS and BL needs to raise funds. Happily, Andy’s old chums Mouldy and Vaughan are on hand to help out – at a price.
They’ve teamed up with some Abu Dhabi lads to buy half of BL’s flagship asset Meadowhall. The shopping centre was put up for sale last year with a price tag of £1.7bn, but withdrawn due to lack of interest. Now it’s going for a song – under £1.4bn. That’s an 18% drop in value and a new yield of almost 6%. A little bird tells me the deal could close by Friday. Merry Christmas boys!