January 27, 2012 / 1:21 PM / 8 years ago

Tchenguiz to sell biggest UK freehold portfolio

LONDON (Reuters) - Property tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz is selling Britain’s largest portfolio of ground rents for 3 billion pounds in a deal that will give the buyer control over the freeholds of 250,000 UK homes, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

The newspaper said, without citing a source, that the Tchenguiz Family Trust is selling the portfolio, which is tied to houses and apartments across Britain, including 15,000 homes in London.

The sale of the freeholds - legal ownership of a property - had been exclusively targeted at sovereign wealth funds, according to the FT.

However, investment bank Lazard (LAZ.N), which is running the sale process, last week extended the search for a buyer and opened talks with a small number of domestic, unspecified investors.

The portfolio, built up by Tchenguiz during the past two decades, has an average lease length of 60 years and 40 percent of it is focused in the southeast of England.

The newspaper said Tchenguiz, one of Britain’s best known property entrepreneurs, declined to comment on which buyers had been targeted, but said there had been “several expressions of interest in the portfolio.”

Reporting by Stephen Mangan; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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