Langtree and Network Space have concluded an agreement for Langtree to acquire the remaining 30 per cent shareholding Network Space held in its developer and asset manager business, having been a founding investor in the business.

The deal, worth more than £2m, gives the board members of the Langtree group full control of its equity.

Warrington-based Langtree was formed in its current guise four years ago with group chief executive John Downes leading a management buyout (MBO) of the public sector joint venture interests and brand name of the then Langtree Group.

Land in the ownership of the original company, a significant property portfolio and the property management functions were retained within the rebranded Network Space which also held 30 per cent of the equity in the ‘new’ Langtree.

Langtree focuses on long-term strategic partnerships with local authorities and government agencies as well as providing asset management services to large pension funds.

These shares have now been purchased in an amicable transaction described by Mr Downes as “a good deal for both parties.”

“It’s been a good relationship. Network Space was a founding investor of our business, injecting equity and loan capital alongside my team and allowing us to hit the ground running,” explained Mr Downes.

“Its support was key to our success and I’m obviously pleased that we’ve managed to generate the cash in the business to acquire the shares. We’ve grown substantially in the four years since the MBO and so Network Space has achieved a good return from its initial investment.”

Commenting on the disposal, Network Space group chief executive and chairman Richard Ainscough said: “We retained a financial interest in the new company as we were confident that the personalities involved would drive the business forward and deliver for us as an investor. Langtree has gone from strength to strength and it’s a great credit to the whole team that the business is in such good shape.

“We were pleased to be able to help them get started and now is the right time for us to realise our investment. We enjoy very good relations with our former colleagues and wish them all the very best for the future.”

Shortly to publish its most recent results to March 2019 it is expected that Langtree will show a significant increase on its year-end profits and net asset value. The company now manages in excess of £200m of property assets and is currently leading some of the largest development projects in the North West.

The company has a number of joint ventures with local authorities and government, including Sci-Tech Daresbury with the Science and Technology Facilities Council and others with Oldham, Warrington and St Helens councils.  It also has a long-term relationship with fund manager PGIM Real Estate.

FDR acted on behalf of Langtree.  Pinsent Masons acted for Network Space.