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  • You are here:M&A

Carillion buys Manchester property developer Ask Real Estate

Carillion has bought a majority stake in Manchester property developer Ask Real Estate.

Following the takeover, Ask outlined its ambition to create a £500m pipeline of commercial schemes across the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ region.

Carillion has bought out the four founding shareholders of the business, which was formed in Manchester in 2000.

Ask managing director John Hughes and finance director Jonathan Cross will retain their roles. They will be joined on the board by Carillion’s development managing director Simon Eastwood and director of strategy and investment Peter Forsyth.

The deal builds on an existing joint venture between Carillion, Ask and Tristan Capital Partners that is currently working on a two-phase development at Embankment in Manchester City Centre.

The first phase features a 10-storey, 165,000 sq ft office, retail and leisure space with a 442-space multi-storey car park, due for completion in July.

A planning application for the second phase – an adjacent office building – will be submitted next month.

Carillion chief executive Richard Howson said: “Carillion has established an excellent working relationship with Ask over many years and most recently on the Embankment project in Manchester and this investment will enable both businesses to build on that success at a time of exciting opportunities in the North of England.

“Carillion already has a strong presence in the region delivering prestigious projects in a number of places including Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds and this deal underlines our long-term commitment to the North.”

Ask Real Estate managing director John Hughes said: “The Carillion investment into Ask Real Estate is a game-changer for the business, presenting us with an exciting opportunity to marry our reputation for delivering high-quality developments and spaces in urban centres with the expertise and financial resource of Carillion.”

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