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Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Yet another offshore venture 'partnership' has been set up to try and offload a series of eight development sites the Peterborough City Council has so far been unable to move, the landmarks and pictorial proof feature on a regular basis on the Peterborough Dirty Old City website. It follows the election flagwaving by Marco Cereste last year when he proclaimed he'd engineered a solution for Fletton Quays, and apparently of the disposal of various difficult parcels of land in Peterborough, the first being Fletton Quays.

View of the route of Fletton Parkway taken last century... double click to enlarge

It now turns out the deal with failed wine maker and failed wine shop chain owner Nitin Parekh (left) who took on 14 former Threshers and Wine Rack stores to create the Wine Shak chain, NOW FAILED. seen with Marco Cereste (Right) was little more than the council retaining the offshore finance company to source some introductions - and before the Dear Leader jumps up and down - we've dug a little deeper and printed up the investment criteria directly from the offshore Lucent Strategic Land Fund website.

This seems to differ from the story put out by his PR people.

So it appears that when the various levels of commissions are paid off, and the several offshore outfits exit, handing over to a round of developers, there will be little left in terms of job generation for the city but a lot of very happy offshore property firms contributing to the economics of Luxembourg and the Isle of Man . In  effect offshore Nitan Parekh will now hand over to an offshore Pram Nayak.

New offshore face Pram Nayak takes over from offshored Nitan Parekh

This link takes you to the original Fletton Keys announcement:

So what do we now have? Peterborough Investment Partnership, (PIP) a partnership between Peterborough City Council and Lucent Strategic Land Fund. So not a company as some media outlets suggest but a looser partnership, with the finances hidden - being offshore-  with the aim  to set up  the development of surplus land owned by the council. It will be given office space in Peterborough Town Hall and may employ a few. Its managing partner is Pram Nayak.

They hope to eventually secure some £130 million of City funding. Best of luck with that...

A spokesman for the partnership said: “We will help to support and sustain the growth and development of Peterborough by bringing new jobs, retail, housing and leisure facilities to the city, as well as generating funds that the council can reinvest in the community and support the services it offers.”

Fine prose but not quite true, as they will have long gone, and have very little say in the final project, and in any case these due diligence studies are then augmented by way of a valuation carried out by BNP Paribas Real Estate or other suitable firm of Chartered Surveyors on their panel

Only then will it proceed to final Board sign off by Lucent Advisers as required before any recommendation is made to the GIM of the Lucent Strategic Land Fund, or any binding offers are submitted on their behalf. Truly a long and winding road but no doubt will be hailed as a great leap forward. Perhaps its just the first brick in the wall?

 Lucent Strategic Land Fund is the offshore funding partner of the Lucent Group, a specialist in land acquisition, finance, and town planning.

The first project for the partnership to deliver will be Fletton Quays - 20 acres of  river front land.

Council leader Councillor Marco Cereste said: “This is one of the first investment and development models of its kind in the UK. " Again not strictly true as Lucent say its the second the first being the Allerdale Investment Partnership.

“It demonstrates the optimism our private sector partners share for the future of Peterborough.”

This is what the offshore Lucent firm says:

Peterborough Investment Partnership

A significant and innovative model of joint venture cooperation in order to benefit the community.

Project Description

8 sitesMixed-use leisure scheme
Gross site area: 40 acresMulti-story car park
Gross Development Value: £150mHotel and civic accommodations
Residential – up to 750 new homesHigh quality office accommodation

How we sourced the project

PCC was attracted to the relative simplicity and clear transparency of the investment partnership model as well as to Lucent’s expertise and experience gained from its Allerdale Investment Partnership.

Investment Rationale

Peterborough is one of England’s fastest growing cities. The Centre for Cities ‘City Outlook 2014’ reported that Peterborough:
In addition, The Council have confirmed that housing and employment growth is regaining momentum in the city, despite significantly reduced public sector grant subsidy available to support growth. [!!!!!] 
Two key housing schemes, (Connect 21 and Morris Vista), near to one of the proposed strategic sites are selling well with new housing progressing to meet demand. Lucent Advisors has carried out indicative high-level appraisals on the option sites which have sufficient scope for development to fulfil the investment criteria of the fund.

Exit Strategies

Depending on site use. For residential development sites, a phased disposal to a house builder over a 10 to 15 year period. 
For commercial and retail sites, 60 national and regional operators have been identified as having an interest in Peterborough and exits will take place on an allocated per plot basis.
Flexible options are available to the market ranging from freehold to leasehold.

KMG SICAV SIF - Lucent Strategic Land Fund

Expected Geographical Asset Allocation on Second Anniversary               

Worcestershire 4%
West Sussex 8%
Surrey 6%
Wiltshire 3%
Oxfordshire 8%
Leicestershire 4%
Kent 8%
Hertfordshire 7%
Lincolnshire 10%
Cambridgeshire 7%
Derbyshire 6%
Devon 7%
Greater England 14%
Hampshire 8%

Legal conveyance is expected to run concurrent to the due diligence process, through which, legal searches will ensure the site is not subject to onerous or unusual restrictions, covenants, options or ransoms and any VAT liabilities are taken into account.  This ensures that we are fully aware of the status of the site that we are buying and that we have correctly assessed our investment return and financial exposure as a result of such a transaction.
As a result of the detailed due diligence that we carry out at pre-acquisition, our planning experts are able to put together a detailed business plan to ensure that each site is effectively promoted through the planning process and that design efficiency is utilised to maximise profitability.

These due diligence studies are then augmented by way of a valuation carried out by BNP Paribas Real Estate or other suitable firm of Chartered Surveyors on our panel. 

Final Board sign off by Lucent Advisors is required before any recommendation is made to the GIM of the Lucent Strategic Land Fund, or any binding offers are submitted on their behalf.

KMG SICAV SIF - Lucent Strategic Land Fund Expected Duration of Portfolio Projects

0-24 month’s duration 28%
24-36 month’s duration 33%
36-60 month’s duration 29%
Cash 10%
Portfolio Diversification

The Group aims to achieve an average spend in the region of £4m to £7m per project. We will also consider larger projects and joint venture opportunities with our preferred institutional partners.
Investment in an individual county will be limited to a maximum of 30% of the total fund size to ensure the fund does not become exposed to local planning issues or the financial strength of one, or a group of, developers active in a particular county.

The Fund will also ensure diversification in the expected ultimate land use, this allows for further diversification of purchasers of the land once planning permission has been achieved.
Ensuring Portfolio Liquidity

The Directors of the Fund have a number of measures at their disposal to provide for liquidity within the portfolio:

At all times 10% of the Net Asset Value of the Fund is held in cash or near cash instruments. A minimum of 20% of the sites acquired by the fund must be ready realisable, that is have an expected duration of approximately 18 months. Redemptions are permitted on a quarterly basis, per calendar quarter, with one month prior notice.

The Fund has the capability to draw upon a banking facility if needed to meet redemptions of up to 20% of the NAV. In extremis, the Directors of the Fund can limit redemptions to 5% of shares in issue on any one redemption day, whilst we would hope never to have to rely on such measures, taking each of the above measures into account, the Directors would have sufficient resources available to meet redemptions of at least 30% of Fund assets from available cash. Assuming there are no new subscriptions, no cashflow capable of being generated from the 20% of assets being held as ready realisable and no naturally occurring cashflow from the normal course of business, this equates to 18 months of liquidity to meet redemptions in the extreme before any assets would need to be sold.

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ampoon (lampoon) Pronunciation: /lamˈpuːn/ verb [with object] publicly criticize (someone or something) by using ridicule, irony, or sarcasm: the actor was lampooned by the press noun a speech or text lampooning someone or something: the magazine fired at God, Royalty, and politicians, using cartoons and lampoons.

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