On May 4th a difficult phone conversation took place with Targetfollow boss Ardeshir Naghshineh. It followed a posting here on May 3rd suggesting that it was Lloyds Bank, not Naghshineh, which was driving the sale of his London properties, in order to raise £500 million to salvage something fom £700m of HBOS loans, one of which expires this week.
The Iranian-born developer, who operates from Norwich, contended that Targetfollow was best placed to manage out the assets, which include Centrepoint. And all that was needed was a joint venture partner to pay off the loans and refinance the portfolio. That may well be the case, but the ssets have not been sold. Nor, does it seem, anyone wants to buy on these terms.
Today there is a report in the FT that Naghshineh has elicited the support of four Norfolk MP's in his battle to save Targetfollow. The quartet has apparently held meetings with Lloyds in order to stave off administration. Well, good luck to Naghshineh, who is both powerful in his own advocacy, as well as being a charming and imaginative character.
But the odds do not look good. Naghshineh still wants to save his workforce by retaining a role in managing and developing the London portfolio, which makes up two-thirds of the assets of Targetfollow. Potential buyers such as Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan really don't want this. It is possible that some form of compromise might yet be reached. But don't bank on it.