Case Studies

Our projects normally run for a three to four year business plan. Here are some examples of our successful completed projects:

Gloucester - Sold May 2018

Gloucester

Craigard acquired this 52,500 sq ft high bay warehouse unit in January 2015 for £2.65million. The property had a tired roof but was well configured, in an excellent location and had expansion land. The tenant Kohler Mira was out-growing the space.

During the period of ownership discussions took place with Kohler Mira and various opportunities were explored to over clad the roof and extend the building. These proved inconclusive because Kohler Mira was not certain of its longer-term strategic needs. At lease renewal a new five-year lease with a three-year break was agreed. In the interim period the industrial and warehousing investment market had moved ahead quite substantially. Craigard analysed the alternative options of holding the asset for the future opportunities that it offered i.e. extension and development whether Kohler Mira remained in occupation or not, or to take the profits secured by yield shift and the enhanced rental secured on renewal. The perceived pricing available in the market was such that investors decided to explore a sale and a successful transaction was concluded at a very satisfactory price of £4.9 million. Investors saw outstanding returns over the period of ownership.

Units 10-14, Pipers Industrial Estate, Thatcham - Sold March 2018

Pipers Way

This investment comprised a terrace constructed in the 1980’s of traditional portal frame split into five units totalling 31,035 sq ft, and producing a rental income of £143,000 per annum.

Craigard agreed a purchase price of £2.255million for the investment producing a net yield of 8.25% with a capital value of £72 per sq ft – about new build cost. The debt was secured with Lloyds Bank.

This was the first purchase for the ‘Craigard Select’ model, targeting steadier, longer-term income streams with slightly lower returns rather than the more traditional Craigard ‘value-add’ opportunities.

The property on purchase was let to four different tenants. The one vacant unit of circa 6,500 sq ft was refurbished and let to Bristol Ambulance at £7.00 psf and set a new tone for the estate.

The units provide traditional industrial/ warehouse space comprising clear span warehouse with smaller office content and a good sized loading apron. Craigard was putting together a medium term refurbishment programme on the estate for the benefit of its tenants but an opportunist exit was secured at a very handsome price. The new rental level saw the asset jump in value to c. £3 million in just 15 months. An opportunity arose to sell to an adjoining institutional owner at £3.3m – a 5.35% initial yield. At this astonishing price investors decided to sell having secured a 64% return in 18 months.

Flexus, Segensworth, Fareham - Bought and Sold in 2016

The building comprised a dilapidated 30,000 sq ft two-storey Research & Development facility. It was sold by an LPA Receiver on behalf of an owner occupier which went into administration. Craigard agreed a purchase price of £1.2million for the long leasehold interest where Hampshire County Council was the freeholder.

The head lease held numerous complicated restrictions, which Craigard renegotiated in return for a premium. This included extending the lease term to an institutional standard.

The property comprised two buildings linked together which were in need of complete refurbishment. Craigard’s business plan was to strip the building to a shell condition and then market the property for all opportunities. Craigard was then able to respond flexibly to occupier demands, whether refurbishment to offices, R&D or complete redevelopment for industrial use. After a short period of marketing, ‘Just Develop It’, a local IT company expressed an interest in purchasing the property for its own occupation. A sale price of £3million was agreed, with Craigard carrying out some enabling works.

The investors secured a return of circa 100% on their investment in just six months. This represents the best return Craigard has achieved to date and will probably remain so for some time to come.

Linea - Sold March 2016

Linea, Fleet

A modern, three-storey, 22,000 sq ft office building, located on the primary Business Park in Fleet. The property was purchased in early 2015 for £2.8million, reflecting a net initial yield of circa 8.25%. A loan of £1.55million was secured from Santander.

At the time of purchase the building was approximately 75% let. Over a period of 12 months, Craigard secured a letting of the remaining vacant space. The four tenants (Grass Roots Eventcom Ltd, Anite Telecoms Ltd, Verisk Analytics Ltd and PRMA Consulting Ltd) were paying a combined rental income of £303,339 per annum, producing a running yield of circa 10%.

There were various upcoming lease events, so whether to sell the property or to hold the asset in the portfolio was discussed with investors. It was decided that a sale of the building was the best line of action to cash in on the profit. The property was sold in March 2016 for £3.7million reflecting a net initial yield of circa 7.75%. The investors secured a total return of circa 50% over a 15-month period. Since sale Anite has exercised its break!

The New Barn (nee Systems House), Petersfield - Sold January 2016

New Barn, Petersfield

This former research and development building, extending to around 20,000 sq ft, was purchased vacant in January 2014 alongside Moneybarn plc. Moneybarn had identified the property for its own occupation, but at that time wished to take a lease of the property rather than purchase it.

A back-to-back letting was concluded at a rental of £195,000 for a 12-year term, with a tenant break at year seven on payment of a six month rent penalty. As part of the transaction, Craigard invested £300,000 in the building for the installation of new M&E – primarily air conditioning. At the same time, the tenant undertook a comprehensive refurbishment of the entire property, converting it to contemporary offices for its long-term occupation. Investment yield including the capital contribution to the works was 9.65%.

A loan of just over £1million was secured from Santander, with the balance of the £2million in total cost raised from investors – primarily those seeking to reinvest from a successful Chippenham project sold in December 2013.

Moneybarn was a local business, well established in the Petersfield area, which provided car finance for nearly new vehicles through the car dealership network. On purchase, Craigard spent a great deal of time with investors and the management looking at the financials of the business and its future. At that time, the business was coming out of a very difficult recession but had secured venture capital funding from Octopus that had allowed it to grow and hence the need for new accommodation. Investors backed the business and that judgement call proved well-founded, as in 2015 the company was acquired by Provident Life plc – a major financial and insurance business. Investors then decided that they would cash in their profit and the property was sold in January 2016 for £2.4million – 7.75%. This has shown investors 66% return in two years – part income and part capital profit. A very satisfactory outcome.

Rivermead Business Park, Thatcham - Sold December 2015

Riverbed Business Park, Thatcham

A ten unit mixed business space estate extending to 25,000 sq ft purchased in October 2013 for £1.85million, with a £1million loan from Santander plus investor cash.

The estate is well-located immediately next to the railway station and with a prominent main road frontage. It comprises small office and warehouse units attractive to local businesses. Initial yield was 9.5% with scope to drive the return to 11% per annum on letting of the four vacant units. Purchase price represented £75 per sq ft – a little more than the cost of new build.

At the time of purchase there were five lease renewals outstanding, all of which were subsequently concluded. Three new lettings were secured following refurbishment of the vacant space (unfortunately, although not entirely unexpected, one tenant lost due to business failure). The last two vacant units were in legals for new lettings, at which point through Craigard’s agency contacts, a strong off -market off er of £2.5million was received from a specialist buyer.

Investors decided to accept after considerable debate. The offer reflected the enhanced income stream that was achieved, the improved building fabric through the refurbishments undertaken, but also yield shift, which was anticipated at the time of purchase. Investors achieved an annual return of about 25% over the two years of ownership.

Meyer Timber, Bumpers Farm Industrial Estate, Chippenham – Sold December 2013

Craigard became aware of an off -market opportunity to acquire a 50,000 sq ft vacant warehouse building in Chippenham.

Meyer Timber Ltd wished to take a new lease at £220k pa for a fifteen-year term simultaneously with the purchase of the then vacant building. The tenant wished to undertake comprehensive refurbishment of the building and hoped that by buying alongside a professional investor, sufficient capital could be raised from the ‘joint venture’ to finance the works.

Craigard secured debt through Santander of just under £1.5million and raised equity from eight investors, totalling £1million in order to conclude the purchase.

Investors enjoyed and income stream for a running yield of 9% until the property was sold for £2.93million after two years of ownership at 7.07% to Mayfair Capital. Investors saw a total return of approx. 65% over two years.

Eaglepoint, Junction 9 - M27 – Sold December 2013

Eagle Point is a Grade A landmark office building constructed in 2005. The building totals just under 30,000 sq ft on three floors with an excellent parking ratio of 1:275 sq ft.

Upon completion, approximately 50% of the space was let to a government body on a full institutional 15 year lease at £19 per sq/ft. The developer then struggled through the following recession to find a tenant for the remainder of the space and fell into Receivership.

Craigard identified an opportunity to acquire the building at a price of £3.1million, secured a banking offer from Santander of £1.84million and raised private equity of £1.5million. The price equated to about £105 per sq/ft c.f. a new build cost (excluding site fees, finances etc.) of £125 per sq/ft. The initial yield netted to about 8% after non-recoverable void property costs.

The initial business plan was over three to four years, however lettings were concluded inside eight months and the property was sold just under one year after purchase at £4.627million to Threadneedle.

Investors received a return of 75% inside twelve months. This was a combination of good judgement and good fortune. This figure was thought to never be repeated – but since it has!

Minster Court, Littlehampton – Sold June 2013

The purchase of Minster Court was completed in 2010. Comprising a well-located industrial and warehousing estate of ten starter units, it totalled just over 34,000 sq ft.

The pricing, inclusive of costs, was under £45/sq ft – less than the build cost. An existing income stream on the six let units generated a net initial yield of about 9% with a reversionary yield of circa 13.5% upon letting of the four vacant units.

The purchase at £1.25 million was secured by way of bank debt from RBS and £600,000 of equity from Atkins, the Foster family and three further private investors.
The vacant units were all let within two years, with one sold to an owner-occupier. All of the lease breaks were either negotiated out or passed without tenant action.
The property was sold in June 2013, with total capital revenues received about £1.83 million.
Investors received about 35% per annum total return.