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W.H. Ireland Group (WHI)

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Monday 10 December, 2001

W.H. Ireland Group

Acquisition of Freehold

W.H. Ireland Group PLC
10 December 2001



   W H IRELAND GROUP PLC ACQUIRES THE FREEHOLD OF ITS MANCHESTER HEAD OFFICE
                                   BUILDING.

W H Ireland Group plc ('W H Ireland' or the 'Group'), the Manchester based
financial services group, is pleased to announce that it has exchanged
contracts for the purchase of the freehold of 11 St James's Square, Manchester,
for a consideration of £3.65 million before costs. Formal completion is
expected on 16 January 2002 ('Completion').


W H Ireland has its head office at 11 St James's Square, having been a tenant
since late 1997. The property, which comprises five floors with a lettable
floor area of 23,049 square feet, is in the heart of the financial, legal and
commercial centre of Manchester. The Group currently occupies two floors of the
building with the remaining space fully let to blue chip tenants.


The purchase, which is being financed via a combination of £650,000 in cash and
a £3 million long term bank loan, is expected to have a net positive impact on
profits and cash flows of the Group.


The purchase is part of the transaction by which W H Ireland will acquire both
7/9 St. James's Square and 11 St James's Square for a total consideration of £5
million. The disposal of 7/9 St. James's Square for £1.35 million to a locally
based property company has already been agreed and will take place on
Completion.


Laurie Beevers, Chief Executive of W H Ireland, commented;



'This is another positive step in the development of the Group. It not only
secures our tenure in office space right in the very heart of Manchester, but,
because of its location, it also has potential to appreciate substantially in
value over the medium to long term. The acquisition confirms our commitment to
Manchester and provides us with a solid base to continue our strategy of
building a national financial services group.'



                                                               10 December 2001


Enquiries:



W H Ireland Group plc

Laurie Beevers                                     Tel:       0161 832 2174