Paul Bassi outlines his path to success

One of Birmingham’s leading business figures has revealed the secrets behind his success in a new book to be published on Thursday 25 July.

“Brick by Brick: Success in Business and Life” by Paul Bassi CBE not only gives a keen insight into his own success, it will also help many projects in the West Midlands, with all his profits going to the Bond Wolfe Charitable Trust.

The book charts his life from the arrival of his father in the UK with only £2 in his pocket, through to how he built a £300 million plus property and business portfolio.

One of the region’s most respected businessmen and philanthropists, and former President of Greater Birmingham Chamber and High Sheriff, Paul Bassi is best known in the West Midlands as Chief Executive of publicly quoted company Real Estate Investors plc, and Chairman of Bond Wolfe, which he co-founded in 1983, with Rory Daly, and non-executive Chairman of Likewise plc.

He received a CBE for services to Business and the community in 2009.  He is also a partner, with lifelong friend Pawan Kenth, in two of Birmingham’s most popular eateries, the successful Zen Metro and Asha’s Restaurant, the award winning restaurant in City Centre Birmingham and Touchwood, Solihull.

“Brick by Brick: Success in Business and Life” is more than just the story of Paul Bassi’s career as a businessman and property investor – in one sense it could be seen as the story of an immigrant family’s journey in the UK – it is also an exploration of the nature of success, the secrets behind entrepreneurship and the importance of work/life balance.

Bassi uses his life experiences from race riots and recessions to family and philanthropy, to share his philosophy on success, the secrets of other successful people and the best way to capitalise on every opportunity.

Passing on the knowledge gained in 35 years in business, his book provides commercial and property advice – such as how to read the property cycle, garnered from his experience gained in investing in the sector over three decades – and debunks a host of myths.

Bassi reveals how to achieve your “big picture” and demonstrates that it is possible for anyone to be successful with the right mindset and surrounding yourself with a great team and advisors.

He stresses that success is not just about money, houses and cars, it’s about personal growth, ambition and achieving your goals, no matter what the obstacles.

Ends (406 words)

 “Brick by Brick” is available at all major bookstores and Amazon.

 For more information, interview or review copy requests, please contact:

 About Paul Bassi CBE

A leading businessman and philanthropist, Paul Bassi is Chief Executive of quoted property group Real Estate Investors plc, and Chairman of Bond Wolfe, which he co-founded in 1983, and more recently the fast growing floor coverings distributor, Likewise plc.

He has served as President of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and was formerly the Regional Chairman of Coutts Bank (West Midlands) and a former Director of Birmingham Hippodrome.

He was appointed High Sheriff for the County of West Midlands in 2009, received Honorary Doctorates from both Birmingham City University and Aston University and was awarded a CBE in the 2010 New Year’s Honours list.

Today, he has interests in a £300 million plus property and business portfolio, which includes estate agency, investment property, development land, hospitality, finance and care homes, employing hundreds of staff.

He is married with three children and has homes in Warwickshire, Ascot and Marbella.

“Brick by Brick: Success in Business and Life” will be published by Bloomsbury Publishing on Thursday 25 July 2019, priced £16.99 RRP for the hardback edition.

Five leading global lighting manufacturers team up with Lighting Reality

The increasingly global reach of a Lighting Reality, the Birmingham-based designer of real time lighting design software for outdoor and street lighting, is demonstrated with five manufacturers signing up already this year with the fast expanding UK specialists.

Lighting Reality is the market leading specialist in outdoor and street lighting and is now established as the UK’s first choice among lighting manufacturers and local authorities for its dedicated software solutions for lighting engineers.

Chief operating officer Tony Cook said: “We are absolutely delighted that so many of the world’s leading lighting manufacturers are putting their faith in our Lighting Reality PRO software and working with us to ensure it remains the industry-leading standard in lighting design.”

The new partners include Polish company LUG, which manufactures and supplies a wide range of luminaires and lighting systems throughout Europe, including their Traffik range for road and outdoor lighting schemes.

Based in Sydney and Melbourne, Leadsun is Australia’s leading solar lighting specialist, working cooperatively with government bodies and international organisations across the world to help resolve global energy issues.

Proelectric, based in Weston-Super-Mare, the specialist manufacturer of permanent and temporary solar powered lighting and micro turbines for windpower.

Gemma Lighting, based in Portsmouth, is an award winning and internationally renowned designer, manufacturer and supplier of high quality LED and solar LED lighting solutions.

Midstream, based in London, is a leading global manufacturer of advance LED high-mast lighting for marine port, aviation and sports stadium industries.

Tony Cook added: “We are pleased to have such a prestigious new roster of manufacturing partners and will be working with them to ensure that both their clients and our’s have the widest possible choice of industry-leading luminaires available for both street and specialist outdoor lighting projects.”

The company’s industry leading software, Lighting Realty PRO, supports all major international standards, and is constantly evolved as these standards are upgraded. It provides access to a library of photometric data files and helps lighting designers produce custom reports in a multi-platform, multi-lingual interface.

2019 has already been a busy year for Lighting Reality with the appointment of Dragon Lighting, located in Perth, the capital of Western Australia, to spearhead the firm’s expansion into Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Singapore.

First launched in 2001, Lighting Reality PRO is now used by around 97.5 per cent of British municipalities and the company estimates that around 90 per cent of lighting engineers in the UK own a copy.

Lighting Reality has become the market leading specialist in outdoor and street lighting and is now established as the UK’s first choice among lighting manufacturers and local authorities for its dedicated software solutions for lighting engineers.

Innovation is the company’s trademark, driven by its philosophy of “Quick Easy Intuitive”, and Lighting Reality pioneered the first luminaire optimiser on the market.

Its flagship product, Lighting Reality PRO, is now available to lighting designers worldwide, and the appointment of Dragon Lighting is the first phase in the company’s new global strategy and the first step in its new export programme.

Ends (506 words)

For further information, please contact

Rachel Green, Marketing,

Lighting Reality Ltd, Park Business Centre, Wood Lane, Erdington, Birmingham B24 9QR

0121 386 8400

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner, ASAP PR, 01789 490786, mobile 07990 978257

It is vital that steel production capacity is not lost to the UK

Statement on British Steel by Johnathan Dudley, National Head of Manufacturing at the national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe.

 The expected failure this morning of British Steel is a very worrying development for the British manufacturing and construction sector in particular and also, on a strategic level for the country as a whole.

The focus in the headlines is for jobs at risk of course, and rightly so.

However, there is a much bigger subtext here in that, unless somebody, government backed or otherwise, picks up the production capacity before it becomes irrecoverable, this will further shrink our country’s indigenous capability to produce steel without even greater reliance of production and supply abroad.

Uncertainty in supplies of steel has dogged our manufacturing industry, off and on, for years. Just a few years ago, there was a worldwide steel crisis caused by steel production being ‘bought’ by the far east, only for it later to flood the market with surplus thereby creating a rollercoaster in prices.

Maintenance of our own production will help to prevent such artificial ‘spikes’ adversely affecting UK industry. Aside from the risk to our manufacturing base at a time when it already faces headwinds caused by the likes of the world economic slowdown, Brexit uncertainty and issues in the automotive industry, there are so many infrastructural projects planned in the UK which will need heavy steel over the next few years.

Apart from HS2, there are projects nationwide to promote more rail and light rail transport; there is a desperate need to build more homes across the country as well as regeneration projects surrounding the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine.

Contracts have just been awarded to build the next generation of Fleet Auxiliary ships in the UK and the Navy’s new frigate programme is moving off the drawing board too. This is just in the short term, of course. All of the above, and more, will need steel. They will need security of supply and price to deliver on time and to budget.

Years ago British Steel used to have the strapline, ‘British Steel, British Strength’. Maybe it’s a timely reminder to repeat this mantra to those in the corridors of power.



Miriam Sherwood, Senior Marketing Manager (Regions), Crowe. Tel: 0121 543 1900

Notes to Editors:

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We are trusted by thousands of clients for our specialist advice, our ability to make smart decisions and our readiness to provide lasting value. Our broad technical expertise and deep market knowledge means we are well placed to offer insight and pragmatic advice to all the organisations and individuals with whom we work. Close working relationships are at the heart of our effective service delivery.

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Likewise rolls out fifth deal as it builds UK and European business

Likewise, the UK distributor of floor coverings launched in 2018, has made its fifth acquisition with the purchase of H&V Carpets BVBA (H&V) in Belgium.

H&V is a supplier of full rolls of carpet to flooring retailers in the UK and Germany. This latest acquisition gives Likewise annualised sales revenue in excess of £35 million, up from £3 million 12 months ago.

Tony Brewer, chief executive officer of Likewise Group, said: “H&V will continue to operate from its facility in Meulebeke in Belgium with the stockholding, logistics and delivery to customers being enhanced through utilising the existing Likewise UK structure in Dewsbury, Sudbury, Glasgow, Daventry and Peckham.

“The acquisition of H&V provides an additional dimension to our UK activities and a platform to develop a business in continental Europe from the facility in Meulebeke.

“We welcome general manager Jonny Peeters, sales manager Paul Hugo and their sales team. Together we can maximise the many opportunities before us.”

H&V sales in the year ending December 2018 were €7.07 million. The acquisition includes stock of €1.47 million and trade creditors to the corresponding value.

Likewise has acquired the entire issued share capital of H&V for one euro in addition to a ten year warrant for one million Likewise shares at 30p per share.

The company, launched in 2018 by former Headlam directors Tony Brewer and Andrew Simpson, includes chief financial officer Roy Povey and non-executive chairman Paul Bassi.

Since its launch, Likewise has acquired William Armes Ltd, Bruce Starke & Co Ltd, Lewis Abbott Ltd and Heatseam.

The business listed on The International Stock Exchange in Guernsey in January 2019.

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Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner, ASAP PR – 0044 1789 490786, mobile 0044 7990 978257.

Battery business is latest recruit at Royal Enfield, thanks to John Truslove

A growing battery business has found a new home in Redditch thanks to property agents John Truslove.

Fogstar, which specialises in lithium-ion batteries, had outgrown its previous premises at a business centre in the town.

The company has taken 1,506 sq ft at Unit 11, on the Royal Enfield Business Park, renting at £12,800 per annum on a five year lease.

Ian Parker, a director of John Truslove, said: “We are delighted to have helped find the right premises for this growing company and it underlines the need for business space that Royal Enfield is helping to fill. This is exactly the kind of young business that new units at this famous former factory site were built to cater for.”

The onetime site of the Royal Enfield motorcycle factory was redeveloped two years ago into 11 factory and warehousing units by local firm EDR Developments Ltd, with John Truslove handling the marketing of the site.

The speculative development totals 24,310 sq ft and is part of the wider Enfield Industrial Estate.

Ian Parker added: “This project showed confidence in a market where there was evident demand for flexible space. Fogstar is one of several companies that have already made the Royal Enfield Business Park their home.”

Lyndsey Hodgetts, retail manager at Fogstar, said: “Ian Parker and the team at John Truslove were quick to see the kind of property we needed to cater for our growth. The unit is equipped with large loading bay doors as well as plenty of office space, which is ideal for our business distributing our batteries across the UK and into parts of Europe.

“Fogstar was founded in 2015 to fill a gap in the market for smaller lithium-ion batteries used in torches, vape pens and even video door bells. As well as selling direct to the public we supply many independent retailers, particularly vape shops.

“There are five of us working here at present but we expect that to increase in the future as demand continues to grow.”

Ends (334 words)

For more information, contact:

John Truslove, Daralbee House, Archer Road, Redditch, B98 8DJ

01527 584242

Prepared by Simon Penfold of ASAP PR, 01789 490786.

City Sightseeing Worldwide chooses Redditch for its strategic location

A company that takes millions of sightseers on open-top bus tours in cities around the world has made its new home in Redditch, thanks to property agents John Truslove.

The move puts City Sightseeing Worldwide in position for fresh growth after expanding over the last two decades to run bus tours in over 100 destinations worldwide, across more than 30 countries on five continents.

Moving from its former home in Henley-on-Arden, the company has taken 1,800 sq ft of space at Suite 8 in the prominent Grosvenor House office block in the centre of Redditch, in a deal handled by Ian Parker of leading commercial property agency John Truslove.

Mr Pearson said: “Grosvenor House provides high quality office accommodation in a landmark building, making it the ideal UK office for an ambitious company like City Sightseeing Worldwide. It also provides them with plenty of space for future expansion, as well as offering easy access to a major regional transport hub such as Birmingham Airport.”

City Sightseeing’s Andy Lawrence is enthusiastic about the company’s new home and the opportunities the move provides for the company as it celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

He said: “We had outgrown our previous home and needed bigger offices, but Redditch also has a demographic that fits the bill for us in terms of future recruitment of high quality staff. There is clearly a lot of ambition for new development in the area, which was also attractive to us.

“Ian Parker at John Truslove quickly understood our needs and Grosvenor House is ideal for us. As well as space for our 25 staff, the offices offer the ability to continue growing without having to move again.

“The nature of our business involves a lot of international travel – as well as the cities where we operate we have another main office in Seville – so easy access to Birmingham Airport also made Redditch attractive.

“As an international operation we employ more than 3,400 people worldwide and Grosvenor House is a strategic location for our business. As we continue to expand globally, that is going to mean more growth for us here in Redditch.”

City Sightseeing Worldwide is the world’s leading operator of open-top, double decker buses that provide hop-on hop-off tours. It also offers its services on boat and trains in some cities. As well as panoramic views of some of the world’s most iconic sights, the tours also provide a multi-lingual commentary so people can learn all about their destination’s history and culture.

City Sightseeing is also a market place for the most exciting attractions in the most popular destinations worldwide.

Mr Lawrence added: “We handled more than 14 million customers in 2018 and with our current growth plans we expect that figure to continue to rise.”

Ends (460 words)

Pic cap: Ian Parker of commercial property agents John Truslove with Gary New (centre) and Andy Lawrence from City Sightseeing Worldwide

For more information, contact:

John Truslove, Daralbee House, Archer Road, Redditch, B98 8DJ

01527 584242

Prepared by Simon Penfold of ASAP PR, 01789 490786.

Déjà vu as Bond Wolfe Auctions unveils record breaking team

Bond Wolfe Auctions has unveiled the team to power property auctions across the Midlands, with many familiar faces.

The team currently numbers 11 with four new members of staff due to join in the next few weeks.

Chief executive Gurpreet Bassi said: “This is an experienced and award-winning team that has an enviable track record, made up of established auction property professionals with large existing client networks.”

The team behind Bond Wolfe Auctions produced the largest-ever Midlands’ auction – 172 lots in May 2018 – and hasn’t held an auction below 100 lots or achieved a sales success rate below 80% in over three years.

Last year, those now working for Bond Wolfe Auctions were responsible for raising a Midlands record of just under £95 million in sales and set another Midlands record of 680 properties sold at auction.

Bond Wolfe Auctions is based in Colmore Row, Birmingham, with offices in West Bromwich and Wolverhampton, from where team members with over 250 years’ combined expertise, service their clients including businesses, housing associations, banks, receivers and property investors.

Managing director Ian Tudor said: “We are encouraged by a very busy start to the New Year and have been overwhelmed by the support from clients old and new. We look forward to welcoming many of them to our first auction on Wednesday 13 March at Villa Park.”

For advice about selling a residential or commercial property or for a free no obligation auction appraisal please contact enquiries@bondwolfeauctions.comor call 0121 312 1212.

Ends (248 words)

Pic cap: Bond Wolfe Auctions’ Midlands team (from left) Sue Randell, marketing director, Ron Darlington, consultant director, Teresa Allen, accounts manager, Jonathan Hackett, consultant director, Perm Daley, auction manager, Gurpreet Bassi, chief executive, Ian Tudor, managing director, Aimee Rossiter, assistant auction manager, James Rossiter, auction valuer, Kylie Pearson, executive PA and Damien Triplett, auction negotiator

For further information, please contact:

Suzanne Randell, Head of Marketing and Communications,
Bond Wolfe Auctions,
1st Floor, 75/77 Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2AP

0121 312 1212

Twitter – @BondWolfeAuc

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP, 01789 490786, mobile, 07990 978257

Editors’ notes:

Bond Wolfe Auctions has a record breaking and award-winning team with over 250 years of combined property experience.  They sell all types of residential, commercial and mixed-use property, investments and land/development sites for private individuals and corporate clients. They will hold six auctions in 2019 at Aston Villa FC as well as offering online auctions, selling properties nationally across the UK.

Burger King opening puts focus on further quick service restaurant opportunities at Brampton Hut Services

A new Burger King which has opened at Godwin Developments’ Brampton Hut Services on the A14 near Huntingdon has already created 14 new jobs with the team expected to grow to 25 during peak trading.

Now the focus is on two further turnkey units to let on the site which will create even more jobs at the busy A1 and A14 routes.

Jason Doe, area manager at EuroGarages, who are the lead tenant on site, said: “Brampton Hut Burger King represents a fantastic opportunity for a progressive, forward thinking and rapidly expanding organisation such as the EuroGarages to bring a high-profile quick service offering to what promises to be one of the foremost roadside services currently under development in the UK.

“We very much look forward to growing our team and customer base both here and further afield.”

Letting agents were Rapleys who specialise in the retail, leisure and roadside markets.

Jonathan Jones, surveyor at Rapleys said: “Rapleys are delighted to have acted on behalf of the Godwin Group in the letting to EuroGarages trading as Burger King at Brampton Hut Services.

“The excellent traffic of the A1 and A14 combined with the critical mass of food and beverage occupiers has established Brampton Hut Services as a strong ‘Food to Go’ destination and as such Burger King will undoubtedly trade well here.

“There are now only two turnkey units available to let, one of which benefits from a drive-thru lane, and leasing inquiries in the roadside market are encouraged for this rarely available opportunity,” he said.

Ketan Patel, development manager at Godwin Developments, said: “This site now offers a Greggs, Subway, Starbucks and Burger King with close amenities to a large BP Connect filling station and truck park, with a Brewers Fayre restaurant, Premier Inn Hotel close by.

“It is clearly a magnet for motorists looking to take a break and top up at this busy A14 and A1 interchange, and so the remaining two units to let provide an excellent opportunity for food outlets that are complementary to the existing local provision and add value and consumer choice.”

Ends (349 words)

Pic cap: Ketan Patel of Godwin Developments, Jonathan Jones, Rachel Legge and Jason Doe

For further information, please contact:

Shivani Parmar, Marketing Manager,
Godwin Developments, 1 Newhall Street, Birmingham, B3 3NH
0121 516 9508

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 01789 490786, mobile 07990 978257.

Editors’ Notes

Godwin Developments is an established UK-focused regional developer of freehold residential, retail, mixed use, commercial and industrial projects. It has offices in Birmingham, Nottingham and London. The company has a strategy of acquiring and building out an extensive and diversified portfolio, either on its own account or in partnership.


Major new UK floor covering distributor Likewise has roots in the West Midlands

Two former Headlam directors have teamed up with Birmingham investor Paul Bassi to launch a new UK floor coverings distributor, Likewise Group plc.

Likewise Group plc is the brainchild of Coleshill-based Headlam former directors Tony Brewer and Andrew Simpson.

The Likewise board includes Tony Brewer, chief executive officer, non-executive chairman Paul Bassi, chief financial officer Roy Povey and non-executive director Andrew Simpson. They will be supported by an executive board and an advisory board.

The business has been listed on The International Stock Exchange in Guernsey, raising £7 million which it intends to use for future acquisitions in the sector. Based on the issue price of the shares, Likewise has a market capitalisation of £12 million.

Prior to the listing, Likewise had acquired the entire share capital of William Armes Ltd and the trade and assets of Bruce Starke & Co Ltd which have been fully integrated into the group.

CEO Tony Brewer said: “We are very pleased to have listed on TISE. We already have a team with huge experience in the UK and European floor coverings market and worldwide manufacturer relationships, as well as two existing distribution centres.

“The benefit of £7 million cash raised and potential access to further funds puts us in a very strong position to be able to make further acquisitions which will enable us to consolidate the distribution section of the floor coverings market to gain national scale.

“Ultimately, we believe that this puts us in a position to expand Likewise into a meaningful flooring business.”

Financial advisers to the transaction are Zeus Capital.

John Goold, CEO of Zeus Capital, said: “Having worked with Tony for 20 years and seen him create significant value for his investors, we are very excited about helping him and his team at the start of their next journey.”

For the listing, UK counsel to the company is Gateley, Guernsey counsel is Carey Olsen, auditors and reporting accountants are Crowe UK, registrars are Link Market Services, the bankers are Barclays and the listing sponsor and market maker is Ravenscroft.

Jon Ravenscroft, group chief executive officer at Ravenscroft, said: “It has been fantastic for Ravenscroft to have been able to work with the team at Likewise, as well as Zeus and the other advisers, to obtain the listing on TISE and raise the finance for the future development of their business.