London-based house builder London Square has been sold by private equity firm Graphite Capital to Ares Management in a joint investment by its private equity and real estate funds, for GBP110 million.
Adam Lawrence, chief executive of London Square, says: “London Square has grown into one of London’s leading house builders with the invaluable support of Graphite which backed us at a challenging time for the property market. As we move on to the next stage in our plans for growth, the backing of Ares Management is a tremendous vote of confidence to support our expansion – and the delivery of homes at all levels of the London market in areas where people want to live.”
London Square was founded in April 2010 at the height of the recession, with Graphite backing a management team led by Lawrence to focus on sites within the M25. Graphite supported the business with GBP50 million of equity capital, which was drawn down over the following two years.
In addition to completed developments at Shoreditch, Wimbledon and Ruislip, London Square has six other sites underway with significant forward sales. The development pipeline of more than GBP800 million provides the potential for further strong growth.
Among the current projects are a development of 40 luxury townhouses in the heart of Fulham and the restoration and conversion of the historic Grade II-listed Royal Star & Garter Home on Richmond Hill, both being jointly developed with Ares.
Graphite senior partner, Mike Innes, says: “With Graphite's support, the London Square management team has performed strongly since we established the company in 2010 and we are very pleased with the investment return. In four years, they have created a market-leading group with an extensive pipeline of new sites. The first stage of London Square’s development has now been completed and we wish Adam and the team every success for the next stage.”
“As an existing partner in the Fulham townhouse developments, we have been particularly impressed by Adam and his team as well as the quality of homes that London Square has brought to central London,” says Bill Benjamin, senior partner in the real estate group at Ares Management.