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Vardy ready for bargain hunt.

Byline: Christopher Knox

THE property company launched by Richard Vardy, son of car magnate Sir Peter Vardy, is looking to capitalise on the economic downturn after securing pounds 12m of additional funding.

Vardy Property Group, of Durham, has secured the loan from Swedish bank Svenska Handelsbanken to expand its portfolio beyond its office developments in Preston Farm Business Park at Stockton and in Doncaster.

The firm has already invested in two new sites as it looks to build a pounds 100m portfolio over the coming years and is looking for more sites on which to develop commercial property.

The new sites include 20 acres of agricultural land in East Ord, Berwick, and a 26,400sqft industrial building in Sotheby Road on Skippers Lane Industrial Estate at Middlesbrough, which is currently occupied by HM Revenue & Customs and the Driving Standards Agency (DSA).

Richard Vardy set up the company in 2006 after acting as head of property at Sunderland's Reg Vardy, which was sold in the same year by his father for pounds 506m. Richard Vardy said: "With the help of the new funding, we are looking to expand our portfolio significantly over the next five years.

"We have seen less activity in the car dealership market as businesses look to consolidate during difficult trading conditions.

"This is why we will be focusing on strengthening our position in the commercial property market.

"We are finding that there are a number of good deals to be had as prices go down as a result of the worsening economy."

The firm has invested heavily in Carbury House, at Preston Business Park, with its air conditioning, lift and under-floor cabling attracting a number of potential tenants.

Development director Greg Davison said: "Our recent acquisitions demonstrate our appetite to invest as we look to maximise any suitable opportunities coming up in the market place that will enable us to build our portfolio.

"The key thing is having the funding in place. The partnership with Svenska Handelsbanken puts us in a prime position to act quickly and decisively, which is a huge advantage in the current market.

"Once the economy straightens itself out, we will be in an even stronger position to provide office space for a number of firms in the North East."

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FUNDING Richard Vardy is seeking good deals.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 9, 2008
Words:386
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