Saudi PE investor takes majority stake in NW property developer

Ancoats Gardens

Saudi Arabia-based AIMS Investments has acquired a majority stake in Manchester property developer Beech Holdings.

Beech delivers high-quality, market leading residential accommodation in prime locations.

The new partnership will enable the business to expedite the delivery of more than 1,000 apartments in its existing development portfolio, with a gross development value of around £250m.

The partnership will be the basis for the roll-out of a larger UK-wide strategy to provide the Beech product to a wider audience, and the joint venture also includes Manchester Apartments, the award-winning property management and lettings arm of Beech Holdings.

AIMS Investments is a family office that manages a globally diversified portfolio and is one of the largest private and public equity investors in Saudi Arabia. The deal enables AIMS Investments to continue its long-term commitment to invest significantly in the UK real estate market.

Beech said the partnership instils confidence in the private rental sector and is testament to the resilience of the UK property market in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The property market has weathered the coronavirus storm well and this is due, in part, to the huge demand for rental property in the UK’s key regional cities.

Abdulaziz Albassam, AIMS Investments chief executive, said: “AIMS Investments’ acquisition of a strategic stake in Beech Holdings underpins the company’s diversification plan and its strategy to expand in the UK residential real estate market.

“After working with Beech Holdings over the past year and developing a relationship with the team, we sought to expand our commitment, investing in their people and talent to form a powerful platform for residential development throughout the UK market.

“This investment will enable us to accelerate our strategy in expanding our footprint to other regional cities in the UK and simultaneously growing our residential portfolio.

“Our investment is a sign of our long term commitment to the UK real estate market as well as our confidence in the ability of Beech Holdings to grow to become a major UK residential developer that delivers high-quality products to its customers.”

Stephen Beech, chief executive of Beech Holdings, said: “Since we first established our close working relationship with AIMS in 2019, there was a natural progression towards creating a true partnership.

“AIMS Investments’ institutional expertise is very much welcomed and intrinsic to our shared strategy of accelerating our growth across the UK.

“The partnership is a good indication of the strength of the UK property market and we look forward to continuing our mission together to provide professionals and students with a high standard of living across the UK.”

One of the high-profile assets included in the new partnership is Beech Holdings’ flagship development, Ancoats Gardens.

This comprises 155, five-star premium apartments, roof gardens, a gym and shared social spaces. Ancoats Gardens is perfectly geared up for creating a community element that Beech Holdings feels will add value to a tenant’s living experience.

The Beech Holdings team

In addition to Ancoats Gardens, phase two of Beech Holdings’ Chester Road development will now begin.

Phase one of the project was completed in 2018, with the creation of Westpoint, Beech Holdings’ largest development to date. Set across 15 floors, Westpoint houses 317 apartments, a shared residents’ lounge and a gym.

Due to Westpoint being in such high demand from tenants and close to full occupancy, phase two enables the creation of a further 600 apartments with the group’s Urban Collective development close by.

In addition to the projects creating high-quality spaces for tenants to live, the work itself creates hundreds of jobs in the area for those working across the construction industry.

The deal between Beech Holdings and AIMS Investments is structured in a way for the partnership to move forward on a firm footing, well-placed to participate in the expected strong residential growth across the UK.

Recent data from Savills revealed that property prices across the UK are predicted to rise 15.1% by 2024, with North West England leading the way with a forecasted 24.1% rise over the next five years.

The North West corporate team at Addleshaw Goddard advised AIMS Investments in the deal.

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