Leslau, one of the U.K.’s most active property investors through his Prestbury Investment Group is estimated to have property assets worth in excess of £1.5 billion ($2.25 billion).
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Speculation is rife that Nick Leslau is in the final stages of planning his return to the UK stock market, an effort to raise capital on his extensive property assets, which include Merlin Entertainments, owners of four of the largest entertainment complexes in Great Britain- Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Warwick Castle as well as Madame Tussauds.
Leslau is reportedly planning to to float the 75% of the property portfolio of Prestbury Investments on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) market as a real estate investment trust. The company’s portfolio is estimated to have a combined current market value of around £1.5 billion, with a large part of that sum being tied up in 21 UK hospitals currently under management by the vast global hospital group, Ramsey Healthcare.
According to early reports, the Prestbury Investment Group plan to continue to manage the portfolio, even after the flotation has been completed, with Leslau as well as his long term backer, billionaire entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter expected to maintain their investment levels in the company.
This will be the first time that Nick Leslau has floated a property company on the stock Exchange, although he will be hoping that it will be more successful than his opening gambit when he floated a company by the title of Knutsford in 1999, which raised considerable investments on its IPO but failed to come anywhere near shareholders’ expectations. .
Prestbury made a much more restrained return to the stock exchange after the flotation of the smaller subsidiary, Max Property in 2009, raising capital on assets valued in excess of £300 million, most of which are situated in and around London area.
Nick Leslau is well-known throughout the UK, no less for the fact that he took part in the British TV show “The Secret Millionaire” in 2008, during which he donated the sum of £400, 000 ($600, 000) to the inhabitants of the working-class neighborhood of Possil in Glasgow, possibly reviving memories of his own poverty driven childhood.
Nick Leslau has an estimated personal fortune of £200 million ($300 million), according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
Nick Leslau came from a working class family in London, and began work at an early age to support his family as well as pay for his University education.
Before completing university, Leslau joined London-based commodities traders Burford in their ground rent department, whilst at the same time completing his education qualifying as a chartered surveyor.
Leslau rose rapidly through the ranks at Burford, fast becoming a partner in 1982, and the following year being promoted to Chief Executive.
In 1986 Nick Leslau left Burford to join with his friend Nigel Wray to engineer a reverse takeover of the Chartsearch which they succeeded in putting together for just £8 million.
Leslau and Wray succeeded in expanding Chartsearch into a £1 billion property enterprise, which, at one time when last partial property in London’s Oxford Street as well as the massive Trocadero shopping center, before falling upon hard times during the mid-nineteen nineties, before regrouping to form the Prestbury Investment Company.