Hide Content

  Show Content

Multi goes mini as UK team splits off

Southgate - Bath - UK 586 REF.jpg

Queensberry formed so retail developer can concentrate on Europe.

Multi Development’s UK team has split to form a new company, Queensberry Real Estate.

The split comes as Multi, the Morgan Stanley-backed European retail developer, steps back from investment in new projects in the UK for the immediate future to concentrate on its continental opportunities.

The split will take effect immediately. The six-strong Queensberry team will take over the management of Multi’s UK interest, SouthGate Bath shopping centre and Victoria Square Shopping Centre in Belfast.

Queensberry will be led by managing director Paul Sargent, commercial director Stuart Harris and development director Jon Munce.

The firm has signed a two-year consultancy contract with Multi, but will also seek project management, development management and asset management work with other investors and developers.

The venture will branch out to secure retail and mixed-use projects and will team up with investment partners to fund the scheme it takes on.

Multi does not have an appetite to invest in new UK projects in the near future, but through Queensberry it could reinvest at a later date.

In January Multi was forced to abandon its planned £300m Summer Row retail scheme in Wolverhampton after its Northern Irish investors pulled out.

The developer is still constructing SouthGate Bath in a joint venture with Aviva Investors. It is expected to sell its 50% stake next year, once the scheme reaches completion and is fully let.

The developer was shortlisted to construct the £130m, 350,000 sq ft Friars Walk shopping centre in Newport, South Wales, in January. Queensberry and Multi will continue with this bid.

Sargent said: “There will be a seamless transfer of responsibilities to Queensberry. We have an excellent understanding and relationship with Multi’s main board, and, thanks to this, we have created a strong platform from which to grow the business.”

Eric Van Duren, chief investment officer at Multi Corporation, added: “This will ensure continued focus to optimise value for Multi in its projects in Belfast and SouthGate Bath, and potentially broaden our opportunities in the UK.

“Paul and his team will welcome propositions from wider sources and we expect to collaborate on interesting new projects in future.”

Queensberry will open an office at 5 Conduit Street in London’s Mayfair.

Multi is around 85% owned by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund.