The financial and operational benefits proved exceptional for the client.

Pritchard has controlled, or has been involved in, over sixty bespoke property developments and many more conventional transactions.

1. Calor Gas Relocation and Development
Calor Gas wanted to assess the viability of relocating from outmoded buildings on land near Heathrow to a provincial airport with good European routes.

Pritchard prepared a geographical and financial analysis on the economics of remaining in situ against opportunities to relocate.

The outcome was the development of a bespoke 6,000 Sq M (60,000 Sq Ft) office building on the M40 side of Leamington Spa and disposal of the Slough land to Computer Associates.

2. A&R Cartons Relocation and Development
This client wanted to update their manufacturing facilities. Pritchard undertook a comprehensive investigation and report into the viability of relocation, including the risk of losing key staff. The outcome was the development of a 20,000 Sq M (200,000 Sq Ft) head office, factory and warehouse in the Chesterfield Enterprize Zone. The Enterprize Zone carried capital allowance benefits which were attractive to private investors. This helped facilitate a forward sale & leaseback agreement at a prime investment yield.

The development was forward funded through Matrix Investment Trust.

This development presented the client with solutions to all the objectives:
• Retention of key workers.
• A bespoke facility.
• Rented space at the lowest rent possible.
• Generation of capital surplus equal to three years' rent through tight cost control and an imaginative pre-funded sale & leaseback transaction.

3. Volkswagen Group Central Distribution Facility
The Volkswagen-TNT partnership needed a rail and road linked distribution centre in the UK's Midlands. A 40 acre site was carved out of a developer's estate in the early stages of a comprehensive development. A disused rail bed adjacent to the site was reinstated and connected to the main line system enabling the client to deliver components by rail from their factories in mainland Europe. From here TNT provided a rapid road distribution network to all VWG's UK retail operators.

Detailed planning consent for this landmark facility might have been sensitive but a sympathetic and economic design strategy was adopted to satisfy client and community alike. The 70,000 Sq M (750,000 Sq Ft) building contract was competitively tendered in such a way that enabled the owner of residual land to construct the estate infrastructure while VWG's contractor simultaneously undertook construction of the buildings.

4. Warehouse Development in Southampton
The client required a 2,000 Sq M (20,000 Sq Ft) distribution centre and offices close to Southampton and the A33 trunk route. The client, accustomed to 30% IRR, had no wish to tie up working capital in freehold property. A one acre site was earmarked adjacent to the A33.

Design and planning application was undertaken and the construction works tendered. The potential completed freehold freehold was offered to a firm of property investment advisers whose client, Wesleyan and General Assurance Society, agreed terms to purchase and lease back on completion.

Bridging finance was secured having obtained an Agreement to Lease with the financial institution. The transaction could, at market rent, generate a capital surplus (development profit). However, the client was planning an IPO and did not want to generate an extraordinary profit.

Pritchard arranged for the investor to accept a lower rent with a proportionately lower investment sale price; a figure sufficient cover total development costs but to avoid generating a development profit.

This would give the fund a more secure investment because if its tenant should at any time fail or go into administration the property could be offered at full market rental value. This enhanced the investment multiplier. However the client would apparently benefit from the reduced rent only up to the first five yearly open market rent review, the cumulative value of which would be less than the potential development profit. Therefore it was agreed that a 'gearing clause' be inserted in the rent review provisions of the lease so that the open market value would be agreed in the usual way but giving the tenant the benefit of being required to pay only 73% of the open market value determined at five yearly intervals for the whole life of the lease.

This concept has become known as "The Equity Lease".