Ground rent investor raises £70m

Mark Hawthorn

Landmark Investments has raised more than £70m of new debt so far in 2020 as it seeks to drive expansion and growth over the next 12 months.

The national ground rent investor will use the debt to increase its portfolio of residential and commercial ground rents, taking on larger and more complex opportunities.

It said none of the debt raised has come from CBILs or is supported by the Government, but is from high street and institutional lenders.

Mark Hawthorn, chief executive of Landmark Group, said: “To secure more than £55m since the start of lockdown and £71.1m this year demonstrates lenders’ belief in our business and is a huge testament to the performance of our team during this most challenging of times.”

Although the firm is 20 years old, it has grown its portfolio value increase eight-fold in the past five years.

This expansion has recently been boosted by the completion of a complex ground rent portfolio of more than 1,800 residential and commercial properties across 418 separate sites and 3m sq ft of industrial, retail and car parking space in Bolton.

“We started investing in ground rents in 2004 before most knew what they were and continued to invest when the market paused in 2008 for the global credit crunch,” said Hawthorn.

“This experience has stood us in good stead and meant it was perfectly normal for us to continue performing for vendors throughout lockdown. Our lenders are firmly onside, demonstrated by the fact that the majority of our 2020 raise was initiated during lockdown without any Government or similar artificial support.

“The profile of our debt and the appetite for our asset class is now at an institutional level where almost infinite pools of capital are available.”