OUTLINE AND BACKGROUND

Ace Liberty & Stone plc is a UK-based property company.

After more than twenty years of successfully buying and trading in the UK property market, building a portfolio for income and growth, Ismail Ghandour saw the opportunity to use his carefully honed skills in a new way. Previously operating on a property-by-property basis for each client, he now decided to assemble an investor base whose funds would be combined into one portfolio. As well as increasing the potential scale of the business, this format separated ownership and management.

With the help of Ivan Minter, an FCA with extensive and diverse experience in corporate financial management as well as regulation, Ace was created with its office in London and floated in late 2007, initially on PLUS. Its shares are now listed on AQSE.

Even with the adverse financial conditions resulting from the recession of 2008, the more recent uncertainty over Brexit and then all the current difficulties brought about by the COVID virus, Ace has continued to prosper. The 2020 Annual Report shows not only how successful the company has been with sustained increases in its portfolio and associated rental income but also how well its policy of prudence which includes an emphasis on tenants of good covenant strength has protected the business in this COVID era.

The company has not followed the London-centric bias of many property companies, preferring to focus on provincial UK cities and towns where available funding has supported the acquisition of commercial properties with triple-A tenants (government or blue-chip) and the potential for alternative use.

  • Ace Shares are listed on AQSE.
  • The 2020 Annual Report shows how successful the company has been, achieving sustained increases in its portfolio and associated rental income.
  • Negotiating purchases, rentals, planning and disposals, has enabled Ace to make strong returns and profits.
  • Good working relationships with major UK banks also enable Ace to move swiftly into opportune deals.

With the support of a well-chosen network of agents and advisors, the Board maintains a careful watch on regional property markets and it is this diligence, wedded to its skill in creative property management – negotiating purchases, rentals, planning permissions and disposals, that has enabled Ace to make strong returns and profits.

The Company’s dedication to shareholder value is evidenced by its having paid an increased dividend each year with a satisfying effect on share price until the Covid pandemic encouraged the prudent course of cash retention.

Underpinning all this successful activity in the UK property market is a strong infrastructure with due emphasis on corporate governance and reliable sources of finance. Early financial impetus resulted from Dr Tony Ghorayeb, a longstanding associate, introducing investors through LiBank (Levant Investment Bank s.a.l.). Tony has since joined us as Chairman.

Good working relationships with major UK banks also enable Ace to move swiftly into opportune deals.

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