Property developer sets up JV in China to launch retail brands


UK property developer, Scarborough Group, has set up a joint venture with a leading Chinese enterprise, AVIC, to help UK and European retailers expand in China.

ScarVic Retail Management will co-invest with retailers, represent them in China, advise on selection of cities to suit their brands, assist in the identification and acquisition of venues, provide logistics as necessary, organise local manufacturing of their products and, if required, provide corporate and tax planning services.

Scarborough Group was founded by Kevin McCabe and has grown from a leading UK property developer and investor to a global business with property, leisure and financial services interests across the UK and Central Europe; Australia; China and India.

AVIC was founded in 1982 and is involved in high-tech manufacturing, property, hotel management, retailing, resources, trading and financial services. With interests in five domestic and overseas listed companies, it has a total operating income of around RMB20 billion (£1.9bn).

Scarborough, together with CH Wong of Top Spring, and AVIC are key investors in Rainbow Department Stores, which operates over 40 department stores in China and is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

The new joint venture will be headed by Jack Lou of AVIC, Susan Tham of Scarborough in China and Simon McCabe in London.

According to the company negotiations are already underway with four prospective UK and European retailers.

Simon McCabe, director of ScarVic, said: “There is already a significant number of major European retail brands in China ranging from Carrefour supermarkets to the high end jewellery and fashion retailers; however, there is still a huge number unrepresented who will find our services can help demystify the complexities of establishing a retail brand in China.”