By Tara O’Connor, local democracy reporter
There have been unconfirmed reports that Croydon Council-owned developer Brick by Brick could be sold off to Manchester-based company Urban Splash.
But the council would not comment on the claims made by trade magazine Property Week last week.
The magazine reported that if the deal goes ahead the company would buy all of Brick by Brick’s existing assets and development pipeline.
Cash-strapped Croydon Council has lent the company £200 million since it was set up in 2016. This was noted by auditors as contributing to the council being forced to declare bankruptcy in November 2020.
Papers set to go to cabinet next Monday (May 17) confirm that the council has been negotiating with a single bidder for the company and a final decision is set to be brought to cabinet in June.
The report said: “Following the cabinet decision in February, the council has had a period of negotiating with a single bidder for the company, a best and final offer was received from the bidder on April 19.
“The offer is subject to due diligence both on the business and the offer, this will involve advice from PwC and a further external report from specialist commercial consultants.”
But shadow cabinet member for finance, Jason Cummings, is not convinced that selling off the company would be the best idea.
The other option for the council would be for a building programme to be followed before winding down Brick by Brick.
Cllr Cummings said: “Our concern is that by selling the company quickly they can cut off all further scrutiny of what goes on as soon as it goes out of public ownership.
“We may never get to the bottom of the huge amounts of money that are going to be lost.”
The Conservative councillor said the first he heard of the sale was in the Property Week piece.
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