The wealth arm of the Bank appointed receivers over a property which was within a short walking distance of Harrods in Knightsbridge. The property comprised a large house and an exceptionally large garden (for that area of London). The property was in the process of being developed by an individual who has since been charged with a substantial fraud.
Some initial issues we encountered at the property; the property was in a state of disrepair, including substantial excavations having been undertaken in the garden. The roof works were incomplete, and water was getting into the building in several places. There were no warranties for any of the works undertaken. There were several breaches of planning, including the depth of the excavation.
BTG asked two prominent agents to value the property in its present state. We avoided agents who had been used by the Bank or the owner as we wanted fresh thinking. We were advised that the property was worth between £7 million and £8 million.
We carried out the following:
Whilst undertaking the above, we met with several interested parties and secured several offers considerably above the valuations we had obtained.
Once all the above works were completed, we decided to put the property on the market with a guide price of £20 million.
We secured a sale at in excess of £30 million to the delight of the Bank and at four times the initial valuations. This has resulted in the Bank being almost paid out in full without the need to enforce its security on other properties.
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