Targetfollow founder aims to rebuild property portfolio

PUBLISHED: 12:26 02 March 2011

The boss of property firm Targetfollow has revealed plans to rebuild the business through partnerships with wealthy financiers.

Ardeshir Naghshineh, pictured, who founded the Norwich-based business in 1992, said he planned to team up with City of London and foreign investors to acquire UK properties, combining partners’ capital and Targetfollow’s expertise in “adding value” to and managing buildings.

The company was stripped of a portfolio of properties worth several hundred million pounds in October, when two subsidiaries were placed in administration by Lloyds Banking Group over debts of about £700m.

But Mr Naghshineh said there was now a “tremendous opportunity” for the company to begin rebuilding its portfolio alongside investors looking for a return on their money.

Mr Naghshineh said: “A number of third-party financiers want to use us as a platform to go and acquire properties as joint owners, with them bringing the capital and us bringing the know-how.

“There is a lot of interest in us. There are lots of examples of people with money who want to invest in London.

“A lot of foreign money feels safe here, much safer than in Europe or the US. We know how to improve properties and get a return. That’s the future for us.”

As well as properties in and around London, Mr Nagshineh said it was his “first priority” to attract investors to buy a number of former Targetfollow assets out of administration, such as the site of the proposed Harford Place mixed-use development in south Norwich.

He added: “We understand the properties. We know them and we have demonstrated how to add value.

“If we can have Harford Place back we will have it back. We are in play for it.”

The company continues to employ about 70 people at its Norwich headquarters, and still holds a portfolio of buildings worth in excess of £50m, including the Duke’s Wharf site in Norwich, which the firm is seeking to redevelop.

While he remained upbeat about prospects, Mr Naghshineh said it was important for the company to win new business soon, adding: “There is tremendous opportunity. The opportunities are there to be had. We have just got to get out there and get them.”

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