Coopers sets up database to move property

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The Independent Online
COOPERS & LYBRAND, the accountant, has set up a national database to help it dispose of more than pounds 500m-worth of property taken on as a result of corporate collapses.

Coopers, one of the leading insolvency specialists, believes it is in charge of one of the 15 largest property portfolios in Britain because of its role as receiver or liquidator.

Barry Gilbertson, Coopers' insolvency property adviser, estimated that the firm was managing more than pounds 500m of property although only pounds 230m, covering 4 million square feet, was being actively marketed. But he pointed out that the collapse in property values meant it could be worth considerably less than the bank loans secured on it.

He added that Coopers already got more than 100 inquiries a week from potential buyers about properties on its book. The register will make it easier to handle such enquiries by including details of all the firm's property, together with the names of the agents handling the sale.

Properties on the register include the head lease of the Carlton Club, watering hole of the Tory party, owned by the Saint J Group, which is in receivership - offers over pounds 600,000 are invited - and Megatron, a restaurant shaped like an unidentified flying object, in Cambridgeshire. In all, it is looking for buyers for 63 office blocks, with 1.5 million square feet of space, 23 hotels and 2,000 acres of development land.

KPMG Peat Marwick, one of the leading receivers called in to companies such as Mountleigh and Rosehaugh, is producing a register. But because of the size of its property portfolio - at the peak, it estimated that it was overseeing assets that secured more than pounds 2bn - it will initially be restricted to the South-east.