Everything must go: Tchenguiz to sell £3 billion portfolio
Vincent Tchenguiz has put his 250,000 UK freeholds up for sale for £3 billion, and looks like he is struggling for a buyer.
The largest property portfolio which has freeholds across the country, with 15,000 in London, has been offered to sovereign wealth funds.
Now, the bankers Lazard have widened the search for a buyer, opening talks with pension and insurance funds.
The portfolio, 40 per cent based in South East, has been built up by Tchenguiz over two decades and represents freeholds on 1 per cent of the UK’s entire housing stock, and has an average lease length of 60 years.
Tchenguiz has told the FT that the portfolio would give any buyer a safe and long-running exposure to UK house price growth.
He declined to comment on which buyers had been targeted, but said there had been “several expressions of interest in the portfolio”.
Tchenguiz appointed Lazard last year to advise on what to do with the portfolio, which is encumbered by debts of £2bn.
Experts have expressed doubt over the valuation of these assets in the past.
Whoever buys them ought to be aware of the considerable reputational risks involved.
The leasehold world has been seething with resentment over Tchenguiz’s modus operandi: buy a freehold or head lease, appoint the managing agent – himself – and sign up other companies he owns as suppliers.
This has caused landmark LVT ruling at Charter Quay, Kingston, and Chelsea Bridge Wharf, Battersea, and St George’s Wharf, Vauhall, where residents won back a recond £1 million.
Tchenguiz was arrested with his brother Robert in March last year by the Serious Fraud Office into his dealings with failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing.