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Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Ask Developments sells 25% stake to Morgan Stanley Real Estate

Manchester-based Ask Developments has sold a 25% stake to Morgan Stanley Real Estate, facilitating the launch of a new 300m investment drive.

The deal will enable Ask to invest in large schemes of more than 100m around the UK and will allow it to retain long-term ownership of its assets. Ask, which has until now been funded mainly by the personal equity stakes of founding partners Ken Knott, Simon Bate and Andy Dodd, already has 111m of completed schemes and a further 78m under construction.

Its projects include Central Spine in central Manchester, Central Park in east Manchester and Exchange Greengate in Salford. It is also working on developments in Sheffield, Bury and Ashton-under-Lyne and is undertaking the redevelopment of the Boddingtons Brewery site in Manchester.

Ken Knott, chief executive of Ask, said: "The Morgan Stanley Real Estate investment is a significant vote of confidence in our management team and in the future of Ask Developments.

"The capital will accelerate existing developments and enhance our overall capacity and flexibility."

Toby Phelps, Executive Director of Morgan Stanley Real Estate, added: "In a market where multi-phased mixed-use projects are increasingly to the fore, Ask has a proven ability to deliver.

"This is another key investment for Morgan Stanley Real Estate and reinforces our continuing commitment to the UK real estate market." Following the deal, Phelps, Robert Falls and David Lockyer of Morgan Stanley will be appointed to the Ask Developments board.

Drivers Jonas advised Morgan Stanley on the deal.

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