Monday, 13 December 2010

Peel Holdings-Just How Much Do They Owe?

I posted last week about the strange finances of Peel Holdings who are a privately owned company.
There is no doubt that they are a successful group, but may they have overplayed their hand, and are they ready for a steep decline. It cant go on forever.
My opinion is that the Liverpool Waters proposals are a planning permission exercise and John Whitaker their principle shareholder is due to cash all his chips in soon ahead of retirement.

 Today of all people Neil Hodgson of the Daily Post looks into the finances of the Trafford Park deal.

THE battle over the Peel-owned Trafford Centre outside Manchester took another twist today after it emerged the site’s proposed new owner spurned another intervention by one of America’s biggest shopping mall firms.

Capital Shopping Centres, which owns Essex’s Lakeside centre, described the latest plan from Simon Property Group, which is also one of its biggest shareholders, as "completely impracticable".
Capital has been locked in a row with Simon after it offered £1.6bn – comprising a purchase price and taking on almost £800m of debt – to buy the Trafford Centre from developer Peel Holdings, giving the company controlled by billionaire John Whittaker nearly 20% of its shares and a seat on the board.

A Peel statement released this morning said: "Peel Group is aware of the letter from Simon Property Group Inc to Capital Shopping Centres Group plc, proposing fundamental changes to CSC’s agreed Trafford Centre transaction with Peel.
"Peel Group remains committed to the agreed transaction with CSC, subject to approval of CSC shareholders on December 20.
"Peel has no intention of selling the Trafford Centre for cash and this has never been an aim of the group – in spite of the fact that Peel has been advised a cash sale would achieve a higher price – and nor does Peel intend entering into such a discussion.
"Rather, Peel’s stated objective is to increase and diversify its exposure to the UK shopping centre market via a long-term investment in CSC."
It added: "The transaction will bring to CSC the value of John Whittaker’s extensive experience in the retail and leisure property sectors and, through the addition of the Trafford Centre, will create an unrivalled portfolio of UK regional shopping centre assets."

Liverpool stockbroker Panmure Gordon backs CSC’s proposed deal with Peel, saying: "In the long-run, if the business stays publicly quoted, the future looks improved with ownership of The Trafford Centre and a strengthened balance sheet."

Most people would wish to get out of retail even if they are as successful as the enterprise known as the Trafford centre.

So what is exactly going on in the secretive world of Isle of Man tax exile John Whittaker, owner of Peel Holdings.

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