Topland to shop for cheap properties on the market to repay bank debts

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The Independent Online

Topland Group, a real estate investor run by Israeli-born billionaires Eddie and Sol Zakay, has set aside an estimated £200m to buy bargain properties that owners are desperate to sell.

For the past 18 months, the London-based group has been buying debt on the cheap. It has bought some commercial property loans for 45p in the pound, making a huge profit later by selling out at closer to 95p.

Having spent £30m on distressed loans, Topland is now eyeing up the properties themselves. The company is one of many investors preparing for banks to force property owners to sell-off their offices and warehouses at low prices to raise the cash to repay their debts.

"We're ready to provide equity as well as asset management services," said Tom Betts, Topland's director of structured finance.

The group's investments include a number of department stores let to retailer Marks & Spencer and five office blocks in the City of London.