Northern presence

Carillion has announced the purchase of a majority stake in Ask, a Manchester based real estate company. Ask has said it now aims to create a £500m pipeline of commercial property development schemes across the Northern Powerhouse region, supported by Carillion’s developments team. The deal will see Carillion buying out the four founding shareholders of the business, which was formed in Manchester in 2000.

Ask Real Estate managing director John Hughes and finance director Jonathan Cross retain their executive roles and will be joined on the board of Ask by Simon Eastwood, managing director of Carillion’s developments business and Peter Forsyth, Carillion’s director of strategy and investment.

The investment builds on an existing joint venture between Carillion, Ask and Tristan Capital Partners that is delivering a two-phase development at Embankment in Manchester City Centre.

The first phase comprises 101 Embankment, a ten-storey, 165,000 sq ft development of Grade A office space, retail and leisure units and 442-space multi-storey car park pre let to Q-Park due for completion in July 2016.

The joint venture will also submit a planning application in February 2016 for the second phase of the scheme; an adjacent identical office building entitled 100 Embankment.