Friday, December 5, 2008

Sir Alex Ferguson and Grant Bovey hit as £3bn property fund collapses

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:05 PM on 04th December 2008

A £3billion property fund backed by a host of wealthy celebrities including Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir David Frost has collapsed into administration.

The fund, called aAim, with Sir David as chairman, invested heavily in properties in Britain and mainland Europe during the boom.

It got caught out by the collapse that started last summer and it is feared that its shareholders will lose all their investments.

Sir David Frost
Sir Alex Ferguson

Property fund aAim, backed by high-profile celebrities including Sir David Frost and Sir Alex Ferguson has collapsed into administration

Other backers include Grant Bovey, the buy-to-let entrepreneur and husband of former TV presenter Anthea Turner and struggling bank HBOS, which is thought to have put £200 million into the fund and held a 20 per cent stake.

Simon Cowell, the pop impressario and The X Factor judge, has also been linked with the company.


On its website, aAim describes how it uses 'sophisticated financial leverage and acquisition structures to optimise returns'.

Sir Alex, the Manchester United manager, was still listed as a founder shareholder and investor last night and is believed to have held his investments as recently as a fortnight ago.

He has said of aAim: 'I have been impressed by the energetic team and clarity of vision.'

Sir David, the veteran TV presenter, told potential investors: 'I have first-hand experience of aAim's approach and style of investment. The team here has impressed me greatly.'

But the celebrity endorsements were not enough to save the fund, which was handed to administrators Grant Thornton-by a court yesterday.

Property insiders-said Bank of Scotland, one half of the HBOS group, had enjoyed a reputation as a cautious but successful lender.

But after its merger with Halifax in 2001 it had become increasingly 'starry eyed', investing huge sums in speculative property ventures.

Imagine Prestige and Imagine Veritas, two other companies backed by HBOS and run by Mr Bovey, 47, also went into administration yesterday.

The two companies are believed to be the last vestiges of the buy-to-let property empire founded by Mr Bovey.
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