A key City Brexit backer and ally of Nigel Farage has launched a £100m fundraise to invest in UK commercial property.
In a statement of faith in the UK's post-Brexit economy, Leave.EU co-founder and real estate entrepreneur Richard Tice is planning to lead a surge of investment in industrial properties and offices.
Tice's Quidnet has put forward a bid to become asset manager for the European Real Estate Investment Trust, proposing the £100m scheme and estimating that demand will see it pay a dividend of over six per cent per annum.
The Brexiteer, who continues to co-chair the Leave Means Leave campaign group, is expected to make a sizeable investment of his own.
Shareholders will consider approving his proposals next month, with investment pencilled in to begin from September for development in England and Wales.
Tice told City A.M. the decision reflects growing confidence amongst the UK's small and medium-sized businesses.
“Small businesses are doing well, but there's a complete lack of new space,” he said, estimating that in Wales alone less than five per cent of industrial sites have vacancies.
“Businesses are getting on with it and they will continue to get on with it. They're bored of all the politics and they just want to get on and make money,” Tice said. “The biggest danger is fear itself.”
During the EU referendum campaign, Tice was one of a group of Leave campaigners who branded themselves “the Bad Boys of Brexit” alongside insurance tycoon and Ukip donor Arron Banks, Banks' lieutenant Andy Wigmore and Farage.
However, Tice bemoaned “noise” around EU negotiations and said May should be prepared to walk away from talks as early as the first quarter of 2018.
“We should stop negotiating, part as friends and just focus on helping businesses organise for the date of exit and revert to [World Trade Organisation] rules,” Tice said.