Wayne Locke

Wayne Locke to leave Ashtenne

Wayne Locke, director of Ashtenne Space Northwest, is to leave the business after agreeing an amicable split with Ashtenne's new asset manager Hansteen.

Locke, who has been with Ashtenne for 13 years, said he will leave after the official launch of the refurbished office development, Exchange Station, formerly Mercury Court, in central Liverpool in November.

Hansteen last month announced it was acquiring a 26.3% stake in the £460m Ashtenne Industrial Fund, and would become the new asset manager to the fund.

The acquisition followed the fall into administration of Warner Estate Holdings, a joint venture partner in AIF in August. Aviva Investors, Warner's joint venture partner in the fund, appointed Hansteen Holdings as asset manager for the fund.

Locke said: "We sat down with Hansteen to discuss the integration of the two businesses and the different management tiers. I took a view that it was time to go and move on to bigger and better things."

Locke said he was discussing options for his future and would be remaining in the North West property industry.

Emily Armstrong, regional manager at AIF, will remain with the business.

AIF's main assets in the region are held in the Space Northwest joint venture with the Homes & Communities Agency. The JV was established with the North West Development Agency in December 2006 as a 10-year fund to dispose of 42 assets valued at £136m.

The remaining assets are the office estate at Liverpool Innovation Park, Exchange Station and around 20 small multi-let industrial estates. The industrial estates are due to be off-loaded in the coming weeks in a single portfolio to an undisclosed buyer.

AIF was originally formed in July 2001 when Ian Watson and Morgan Jones, who later founded Hansteen, were joint chief executives of Ashtenne Holdings. AIF owns 14.6m sq ft of multi-let industrial properties in the UK. The portfolio has 3,000 units, on 240 individual estates, with an annual rent roll of £43.5m and a current vacancy rate of 18 %. At 30 June 2013, the gross asset value of the properties was £460m.

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