The Westminster village should remember Mapeley. The property company is linked inexorably with the purchase of 600 Inland Revenue offices several years ago – controversially, after it emerged that the group was based offshore.
Since then it has floated on the stock market – although US investment group Fortress remains the biggest shareholder.
But the share price has fallen by about 97 per cent since the peak of the property bubble: from about £40 to £1.15.
The group’s interim results, reported in August, showed a £53.8m pre-tax loss for the six months to June 30. Its net asset value per share fell by 13 per cent to £16.17. The group said it had seen a “strong operational performance” over the period and its cash position was healthy. Although it is highly geared, it said it had remained within its banking covenants.
Last Thursday I asked HMRC what would happen to these buildings if – and I emphasize if – Mapeley were to go under.
Here is the statement, just through: “HMRC has wide-ranging rights under the STEPS contract in the event of contractor insolvency. In particular the STEPS contract contains provisions which protect HMRC’s ability to occupy the premises and to secure the delivery of services including the ability to take new leases post-termination, step-in rights and direct agreements with the funder and service providers.”