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LONDON-Entrepreneur Robert Tchenguiz has emerged as the silent partner in a syndicate headed up by Israeli investor Igal Ahouvi to buy 137 NCP car parks for £620 million ($1 billion).

The deal represents one of the biggest direct property transactions this year and increases Ahouvi’s UK property interests to about £2 billion ($3.3. billion) and the Tchenguiz brothers’ interests to £4 billion ($6.6 billion). The two men now have a combined 40% stake in the Delek-headed syndicate that bought the car parks.

The car parks, including some in prime sites like London’s Soho, were owned by Royal Bank of Scotland and leased to NCP. The investors are understood to be primarily interested in the investment potential of the properties but Ahouvi has not ruled out maximizing the development potential of some of the sites when the market picks up.

The main appeal to both Ahouvi and Tchenguiz is the rental income and the opportunity this presents of packaging them together into some form of securitization.

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