19 (-) John Cutts £320m (-)
The sale of Solihull-based Parkridge Holdings to US industrial property giant ProLogis has propelled John Cutts - nicknamed the "Godfather of sheds" - into the top half of this year’s Birmingham Post Rich List.
Sheds - very big ones - have made a fortune for 48-year-old John Cutts. Parkridge, of which he and his family trusts own 40 per cent, has more than £1.7 billion of industrial, retail and office developments on its books in the UK, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Russia and Spain.
Parkridge has specialised in realising maximum value from undeveloped land. That doesn’t just mean industrial land. Parkridge has a number of residential schemes on the go, one of which is Dickens Heath in Solihull where Parkridge is developing a village community with houses selling between £100,000 and £1 million.
The sale of Parkridge to ProLogis netted £530 million, with nearly £300 million of cash and shares going to John Cutts and his family trusts. He was appointed vice chairman - Europe of ProLogis while remaining chairman and chief executive of Parkridge.
ProLogis, with its headquarters in Denver, Colorado, is the world’s largest owner, manager and developer of industrial distribution facilities, with nearly 5000 customers in 20 countries, and almost 3000 industrial properties across Europe, Asia and the US.
This is the second time that John Cutts has done well out of selling to ProLogis. Before founding Parkridge in 1998 he led a successful management buyout of Ashford Developments and relaunched the company as Kingspark Group Holdings. Kingspark was later acquired by ProLogis for almost £100 million.
Meanwhile Parkridge and ProLogis have developed a "non-compete" arrangement in the big shed market. When it buys land for industrial use in Europe it passes it to ProLogis. In return the opposite happens when ProLogis finds sites for non-industrial use.
Sheffield-raised John Cutts began his property career as a development surveyor with William H Brown in 1985. He was quickly promoted to commercial sales manager at Wilson Bowden before joining Ashford as commercial director in 1989.