Investors to touch down at Humberside for Henderson's base?

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 3 Jul 2018

Investors are being offered the opportunity to have corporate giant Aon as a long-term tenant, as the administrative headquarters of Henderson Insurance Brokers Ltd is marketed for sale.

Joe Henderson sold his eponymous business, operated from Humberside Airport Business Park, to the US firm last year – and it is understood he is now looking to offload the building he had purpose built, for a cool £400,000.

With the business anchored for the next nine years in a contract without a break, Lanark House on Schipol Way could prove very attractive, with a £36,000 annual income on a long leasehold for the 4,726 sq ft three-storey building alongside the A18.

Clark Weightman has been appointed to market the property, which was brought forward within a decade of Henderson’s launch in 1995. It features a mixture of open plan an individual offices and before transferring to Leeds, served as the firm’s main headquarters.

Joe Henderson is looking to sell the Kirmington office as an investment. 

Carl Bradley, director, said: “It is a great opportunity, and you have to be conscious of the fact that Humberside Airport’s owners are investing in growing and developing the site. There are already good, established businesses there such as Agrimin, RBP and the new hotel, some great infrastructure that is being added to.

“From an investors’ point of view, you get Aon as a tenant, which is good security of income there. It is also a great location, with modern, high quality offices, for any business serving both banks of the Humber or the wider region.” 

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The deal with the New York Stock Exchange-listed global professional services firm was agreed last autumn, completing in December.

Mr Henderson, originally from Manchester, founded the business in 1986 in a small office in Scunthorpe, having realised there was a gap in the market while working in construction for Peter Birse at Barton.

From humble beginnings, it now employs more than 400 people across 16 offices, predominantly in the north of England, but with clients and business across the UK.

In 2016 it celebrated 30 years of trading, hitting £30 million of revenues. 

At the time of the deal Aon confirmed that there were “no plans to make significant changes to the business,” and it continues to trade as Henderson. 

There is one change in the Humberside Airport terminal however, with WH Smith pulling the shutters down on the outlet there. Newspapers are to be made available in the restaurant as a new occupier is anticipated. 

It is in contrast to its stated strategy of switching from the high street to travel hubs, having also closed its Freshney Place store in recent years. 

Read more: High-end cycling, running and swimming gear go under the hammer following retailer collapse

A trading update issued last month showed its total group sales were up 4 per cent on the past three months year-on-year, with the travel segment contributing an 8 per cent uplift.

Chief executive Stephen Clarke told the Financial Times: "WH Smith continues to grow both internationally and in the UK. "We continue to focus on profitable growth, cash generation and investing in the business to position us well for the future."



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