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- Provident agrees contract for new 34,000 sq ft facility in Chatham for its subsidiary Vanquis Bank

Banbury, 31st March 2008, Port@l, leaders in delivering Occupier Solutions comprising space, infrastructure and support services, has been chosen by credit card provider Vanquis, a wholly owned subsidiary of Provident Financial, to deliver a ‘Branded’ 34,000 Sq ft headquarters at Pembroke Court in Chatham, Kent to house its employees.

Managing Director at Vanquis, Michael Lenora comments on the agreement, “We are very committed to the Chatham area, which has served us well. As with many businesses, our property commitments are important to us and our employees so our decisions need to have the effect of moving the company forward. Without Port@l we would have been in the traditional position of having to sign another lease. Port@l have provided an innovative solution that enables us to move 2 years earlier than would otherwise have been the case, minimise our exposure and risk, and provide us with the kind of flexibility in the capacity solution that is essential to every large business in today’s market.”

Using Port@l’s ‘Occupier Solution’ model, organisations can mitigate their long-term risk by removing any obligation to premises. At the same time, Port@l commits to deliver a turn key solution and the on-going delivery of infrastructure and support services to guaranteed criteria over the life of the contract, which itself is better attuned to a business’s planning horizon. The operational nature of the contract enables the occupier the option to ‘walk away’ at the end of the contract without incurring any exit costs, dilapidation or legal fees, and with no extant lease obligations.

Managing Director at Port@l, John Gotley comments on the deal, “Forward- thinking companies, such as Provident and Vanquis have recognised that in today’s uncertain world they need to think beyond the traditional approaches to accommodation procurement. Our ‘Occupier Solutions’ approach delivers the capacity Vanquis require today, without the rigidity of a long-term lease or capital investment. By using this solution the credit card provider can adopt a capacity strategy that can more accurately adapt to their changing business cycles. The advantage Port@l has is that we can negotiate far more preferential lease terms than a typical blue chip company acting independently. We are then happy to take on the risk of the lease and pass on more flexible terms for the occupier. As part of the contract Port@l will guarantee agreed budgets and timescales with compensation for any overruns. So far, no Port@l project has been a day late in implementation.”

Under the agreement Port@l will deliver an initial 34,000 sq ft, with an option for additional space. The initial agreement is for 8 years, with an option for a further 7 years. Port@l will also be responsible for the fit out of the building to include 400 + workstations. Knight Frank acted as the advising agents to the leaseholders.

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For further information visit www.portal-centres.com

Editor’s Note:

About Port@l:

Established in 2000 Port@l is part of a unique amalgamation of three ‘best-of-breed’ specialist companies (Cannock, Port@l and Direct Dialogue) that share similar ownership. This commonality is a critical point because it overcomes many of the difficulties and discontinuities encountered by partnerships. The core offering of this amalgam is space and infrastructure (environment, IT and telephony) on a managed service basis. Port@l term this organisational hosting or simply hosting and it allows their clients to retain ownership of their “crown jewels” such as brand custodianship, culture, people, processes, intellectual capital, business applications and, in the case of call centres, the actual interaction with customers.

Port@l have worked with a number of prestigious clients, including: HfS Loans, Barclays Bank and E.ON (Powergen).

Port@l’s head office is in Banbury and they have operational centres in Glasgow, Rotherham, Nottingham and Manchester.

Press Contact: Call Steve Shergold or Sally Minchin on 0845 658 0120.
E-mail: Steve.Shergold@ttauk.com or sally.Minchin@ttauk.com

About Vanquis Bank:

Vanquis Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Provident Financial, a FTSE 250 company established for over 125 years. Vanquis began issuing credit cards to the under-served market in 2003 and currently has over 300,000 customers in the UK and over 400 staff across two locations. The Bank is currently poised to take advantage of the opportunities for growth in the underserved market.

Press Contact: David Stevenson 01274 731111
E-mail: david.stevenson@provident.co.uk

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