Carillion buys out four founding shareholders of Mancunian developer


Contractor Carillion has bought a controlling stake in Manchester-based Ask Real Estate, the property developer has confirmed.

The undisclosed investment by Carillion has bought out the four founding shareholders of Ask Real Estate.

Ask Real Estate managing director John Hughes and finance director Jonathan Cross retain their executive roles and will be joined on the board of Ask by Simon Eastwood, managing director of Carillion’s developments business, and Peter Forsyth, Carillion’s director of strategy and investment. Ask’s new board will work with Carillion Developments to identify and deliver commercial property development opportunities with a projected value of £500m over the next five years, in major cities across the Northern Powerhouse.

The investment builds on an existing joint venture between Ask, Carillion and Tristan Capital Partners that is delivering a two phase development at Embankment in Manchester city centre.

The first phase comprises 101 Embankment, a 10-storey, 165,000 sq ft development of Grade A office space, retail and leisure units and 442-space multi-storey car park pre-let to Q-Park due for completion in July 2016.

The joint venture will also submit a planning application in February 2016 for the second phase of the scheme, which is an adjacent identical office building, entitled 100 Embankment.

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.

Richard Howson, chief executive of Carillion, 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.”