Leslau's Max Property eyes up its first bargain

PROPERTY mogul Nick Leslau is eyeing up a bargain acquisition and could buy it through his recently floated Max Property Group.<br /><br />The Aim-listed property company, which became the largest initial public offering in the UK this year after raising &pound;220m, is in discussions to buy a &pound;270m industrial portfolio out of administration.<br /><br />The portfolio comprises 120 properties and was valued at over &pound;530m when it was put into receivership last year, but has subsequently fallen in value since the downturn.<br /><br />The sale process has been complicated by the fact that administrators Ernst &amp; Young want to sell some properties through auction next month, which Leslau is hoping to pre-empt.<br /><br />Leslau launched Max Property with ex-Helical Bar investment chief Mike Brown to exploit depressed values in the UK real estate market. Average commercial property values have now slumped more than 40 per cent since the peak in summer 2007.