Friday, May 4, 2018

News: Bank-backed Harworth makes £45m acquisitions

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Rotherham-based regeneration specialists Harworth Group plc has secured further financial backing as it makes £45m of acquisitions in strategic sites.

One of South Yorkshire's largest publicly listed companies was created through the complex restructure of what was UK Coal. A specialist in brownfield regeneration, Harworth, which is based close to its own Waverley development, is one of the largest property and regeneration companies working in the North of England and the Midlands.

The sites, in Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire, are within the Group's core markets and comprise a mix of brownfield and greenfield sites across 299 acres.

The focus has been on "beds and sheds" sectors and Harworth already owns and manages a £400m+ portfolio of around 21,000 acres of land on around 135 sites.

Two of the sites generate existing income of £3.1m per annum from two commercial tenants. In total, the acquisitions provide the potential for the development of up to 3,000 homes and over a million sq ft of commercial space.

Harworth said that it will use its market leading master planning and regeneration skills to promote the sites through the planning process and remediate the land ready for future development where applicable.

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Harworth has purchased a 112-acre site at Wyke, Bradford; a 22-acre site in Flaxby, North Yorkshire; 112 acres of land across three separate parcels near Denby in Derbyshire (pictured) where it is already progressing a masterplan; and 53 acres of greenfield land in Bardon, Leicestershire, which is adjacent to the company's existing major development at Coalville.

Owen Michaelson, chief executive of Harworth, said: "These acquisitions and the increase in our financing facilities demonstrate the continued implementation of our strategic priorities. We are expanding our strategic land bank to deliver further value to our shareholders through clear, long-term value-add opportunities, whilst both securing additional income and maintaining low gearing and financing headroom to support the continued growth of the business.

"Our confidence in the strength of, and the outlook for, our principal markets in the North of England and Midlands is underpinned by the continued undersupply of new homes and commercial space in the face of high levels of demand from housebuilders and commercial occupiers alike. Harworth continues to make a significant contribution to the ongoing economic growth of the regions as one of the UK's leading regeneration companies."

The acquisitions have been funded through the company's existing Revolving Credit Facility (RCF), which has been extended from £75mto £100m, with Santander UKPLC providing an additional £25m commitment to sit alongside the existing £75m commitment from The Royal Bank of Scotland plc. Following the acquisitions, over £20m of the RCF remains.

Harworth website

Images: Harworth

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