Norwich firm stays out of administration

An attempt to force Norwich property investors Targetfollow into administration has been adjourned.

Targetfollow, based on Riverside Road in the city centre, has been engaged in talks with Lloyds Banking Group for about nine months over a �700m debt.

The company, which employs 90 in the city and 200 nationally, has a portfolio of properties worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

It is also behind a number of major developments in the city, including Duke's Wharf and the proposed �129m Harford Place mixed use development in the south of the city, which has been thrown into doubt due to uncertainty over the company's future.

Yesterday, Lloyds attempted to force Targetfollow into administration in a High Court hearing, but the case was adjourned until the first date available after October 25.

The delay offers a chance for Targetfollow to prepare for a counter-claim against the bank and time for the company to progress talks aimed at bringing a new investor on board to avoid administration.

The debt relates to two loans, one of more than �400m which expired last month, and another for �234m, which expired in July, which Targetfollow has been unable to repay.

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The two parties remain in dispute over the value of Targetfollow's assets, with the bank putting the figure at about �405m, far lower than the �680m cited by the company.

It owns a string of high profile buildings and developments across the country, including London's Centre Point.

Lloyds and Targetfollow declined to comment on the hearing.

Speaking last month, Targetfollow owner Ardeshir Naghshineh said the company was 'performing extremely well' in its day-to-day operations, but was being charged 6pc interest by the bank.

Earlier in the year the company sought the support of Norfolk MPs, who helped secure more time from Lloyds to allow it to come up with alternative to administration, but no agreement was reached.