Spencer’s property portfolio sale was pre-pack deal


The £150m sale of Spencer Commercial Property’s entire portfolio to listed company Hansteen Holdings was completed through a pre-packaged administration according to BusinessDesk.com.

The sale, announced by Hansteen on December 22, was completed by David Crawshaw and Rob Croxen of KPMG, who were appointed as joint administrators to Spencer Commercial Property on December 21.

The portfolio contained 88 industrial properties comprising around 4.1m sq ft of space. It had been built by Jim Spencer, who had taken over his family’s scrap metal business in the 1950s before diversifying into property.

Its assets included the Wirral-based Arrowe Commercial Park, the Estuary Bank Business Park in Speke and the Nexus office buildings in Knowsley. Wirral,

Spencer Commercial Property had been struggling to refinance a £200m loan from Bank of Scotland (now Lloyds Banking Group) in 2008 and its last filed accounts for the year to March 31, 2010, showed that it had breached its banking covenants.

The cancellation of an interest swap also incurred a charge of £7.3m, which meant that despite improving turnover by 11% to £15.7m, it declared a pre-tax loss of £3.6m. Revaluations also wiped almost £40m of the portfolio’s value. Mr Spencer resigned from the firm in September 2010.

Commenting on the sale of the firm’s assets, joint administrator David Crawshaw said: “This transaction demonstrates that even in the current difficult economic climate there is a market for quality commercial property in the UK.”