Steve Morgan, former boss of Redrow, aims to quadruple the size of a key division in his latest venture, Harrow Estates, by the end of 2008.
Harrow now concentrates on buying toxic sites, cleaning them and selling them on at a premium. It has recently diversified into property investment and joint-venture work with housebuilders such as Wimpey and Bellway.
Morgan said that the joint-venture division undertakes about £20-25m of work a year but he wants to increase this to £100m within three to four years.
In an interview with Building this week Morgan said that he was happy to work in joint-venture agreements, as he did not mind taking on risk, but he did not want to deal with the sort of daily problems that he had at Redrow.
He said: “A lot of the stuff Harrow does is residential, so I do a lot of the fun bits without having the subbies and customers.”
I do the fun bits without dealing with subbies and customers
Morgan’s deep pockets – he has an estimated fortune of £300m after the sale of his stake in Redrow in 2000 – mean that Harrow can buy brownfield land that most housebuilders would avoid because it could potentially cost them a lot to decontaminate.
Having lost out in repeated bids to buy Liverpool Football Club, Morgan is now concentrating on his businesses. He said he will not make any more bids for Liverpool FC, but added: “If they come back to me, maybe.”