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Ares Bail Out, Longmead Buy In, As Big Capital Rethinks Manchester

Manchester's Piccadilly Place office scheme, approached across London Road.

Investors are taking their profits, or taking their chances, as they jostle for places in Manchester’s post-pandemic property market.

This week Ares prepared to take a second step back, whilst Longmead appeared ready to make a great leap forward.

The sale of the 320K SF offices at 3-4 Piccadilly Place with a price tag of £145M means a healthy profit on the £117M purchase from Carlyle Group in 2016.

Ares approaches the sale fresh from a profit-taking at the 300K SF Ducie Street Warehouse, sold late last year to German investor Deka Immobilien for £80M. The sale price contrasts with the £25M 2016 purchase price of that was, before the Ares’ backed Capital & Centric intervention, a seriously underperforming asset.

As Ares reduces its Manchester holdings, James Brackenbury and Shilen Patel’s Longmead Capital is heading in the other direction, stepping up its involvement in the UK regional office market. Longmead is the likely buyer at 3-4 Piccadilly Place, React News reported.

The deal comes as the firm debuts in Glasgow with a £38M buy from Aviva. 

The Piccadilly Place buy comes three years after it acquired South Manchester’s 106K SF Trident Business Park for £25M.