Steel magnate Sanjeev Gupta has set up a property development and investment arm that makes him one of the biggest commercial real estate owners in the UK, Property Week can reveal.
The tycoon’s GFG Alliance business, which has interests in energy, metals, engineering and financial services, launched the division, named Jahama, this week.
The property business is already the fifth-largest private landowner in the UK and will look to develop out GFG Alliance-owned land, amassed largely through takeovers of failing industrial and manufacturing plants. It also hopes to become a major player in investment and intends to target commercial and residential assets.
Jahama currently owns 114,000 acres in Scotland, five industrial parks across the UK, a 400-acre site in south Wales and a number of office blocks and residential properties.
“With the rapidly growing scale of our global property interests, it became imperative that we launch a dedicated property pillar within the business,” Gupta told Property Week.
“This will make responsible stewardship and development of our estates and property holdings for the betterment of all stakeholders a key priority.”
In addition to its UK holdings, GFG Alliance has assets in the UAE, India and Thailand and will shortly complete the purchase of a major property portfolio across Australia.
“We have a pretty aggressive expansion plan and are looking to acquire across the asset classes to expand our portfolio,” said Jay Hambro, GFG Alliance chief investment officer.
To set up a property business from a starting point as the fifth-largest private landowner in the UK, is quite an exciting place to be
“To set up a property business from a starting point as the fifth-largest private landowner in the UK, it’s quite an exciting place to be.”
The company has appointed Duncan Mackison, former chief operating officer for the largest UK private landowner, the Duke of Buccleuch, as chief executive of Jahama Highland Estates, a division that will look after around 114,000 acres of land neighbouring Fort William, including the foothills of Ben Nevis.
Entrepreneur Gupta set up the $6.7bn (£5.1bn) Liberty House Group, which has acquired a number of steel plants in the UK, while at Cambridge University and later set up GFG Alliance in partnership with his father’s energy and commodities company SIMEC Group.