35= (29) Rupert Mucklow £130m (£118m)
It’s been a year of change and of new strategies for Rupert Mucklow’s Cradley Heath-based A&J Mucklow.
In July the company converted itself into a real estate investment trust. Using real estate investment trust rules, Mucklows can get relief from corporation tax on most of the rental it receives from properties, in return for an upfront tax payment of £5.7 million.
To comply with Treasury rules on REITs, all members of the Mucklow family have reduced their shareholdings below 10 per cent, as has Jack Petchey’s investment vehicle Trefick which has reduced its share to nine per cent from 14.
According to chairman Rupert Mucklow, the change will give the company the opportunity to grow and concentrate on the Midlands.
The change is accompanied by a shift in Mucklow’s strategy. The company has spent more than £25 million buying land for development, including 29 acres of prime industrial land in Birmingham and Coventry. The new sites bring with them a potential to build more than a million square feet of new business space generating rents of £8 million a year.
It’s a busy time for Mucklow. Projects on the go include a multi-million scheme to build 100,000 square feet of retail pace and 500 apartments on a site opposite the newly developed Digbeth coach station, designing a new campus for Bournville College, and a £50 million residential development with Peel Holdings in Nottingham, as well as projects in Dudley, Wednesbury, Coventry and Worcester.
Rupert Mucklow, aged 44, has been executive chairman of A&J Mucklow since 2004. In the year to June 2007 the firm posted a £33.4 million pre-tax profit, not counting £18.6 million of tax credits. The company has an investment portfolio worth more than £288 million. The Mucklow family has a 44 per cent stake in the business.
A&J Mucklow began life as a housebuilder but in the 1960s - having gone public in 1962 - moved away from homes and concentrated on investing in and developing industrial, commercial and retail property.
Over the intervening years Mucklow has ridden out the vagaries of the property market. A long term strategy of maintaining a portfolio of properties with potential for long term rental and capital growth is balanced against a short term strategy which is more opportunistic, acquiring when values are low and disposing when investment values are more robust.