Craig Lewis Darbey is a 56 year old board member of Celtic Property from Cardiff, Wales. After completing a degree in Agriculture from Usk college, Craig began his career in 1980 in agriculture and owned a farm which intensively reared Calves and Rabbits. He diversified into commercial landscaping and had contracts with all five of the largest house builders in South Wales. In 1992 he moved to Prague in Czech Republic to set up Lewis Darbey & Co Print Specialist which expanded into Warsaw Poland in 1997. In 1999 he joined Celtic Asset Management (CAM) soon after its inception in order to asset manage Inter Ikea’s property assets in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The company went on to complete a number of projects in Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Germany, Belgium, Norway and Sweden with NCC becoming a main client. Part of the company was sold to iOG in the UK in order to raise and place 500m Euro in CEE Multi let Industrial property on behalf of Morley. On successfully completing this remit the remainder of the company was sold to Teesland who in turn were taken over by Valad. In 2004 The partners set up Savills in CEE and sold the 40% holding in the company 18 months later. Trinity corporate services was set up in Poland with the three partners owning 49% of it. It experienced two years of rapid growth to a point where it had 134 staff before being sold and rebranded as Vistra. A number of other companies were also started including Celtic Fire in Australia and Gentille Wineries in Herzegovina. The three partners began co-operation with the Laxey partners hedge fund in 2005 and 50% of a newly formed Celtic Asset Management was sold to them to facilitate the purchase and development of ca 100m Euros worth of office, residential and warehouse assets in Poland, Hungary, and Montenegro. Investors were mainly Ivy league endowment funds and large UK and US institutions. In 2007 the asset management company was merged with the asset holding companies to form Celtic Property Development (CPD) which was eventually listed on Polish stock exchange in 2010.
Throughout this time Craig had a significant stake in the company and served as Head of Marketing and Leasing of the group. He also sat on various boards of other companies and spent a number of years acquiring agricultural land in urban areas and converting it to residential plots. CPD went on to develop over 100,000sq.m of office and residential projects and owned ca. 100ha. of urban land, the most noteworthy projects being the office park at Cybernetyki in Warsaw and the re development of the Ursus tractor factory to 14,000 apartments. CPD also undertook a number of asset management and disposal remits for TDG and Spazio Industriale, looking after over 500 properties in the UK, Italy, Spain Poland, The Netherlands and Ireland with a combined value of over 1bn Euro. Over 375m Euros of properties were successfully sold on behalf of clients. Craig had part ownership of Red Lion Properties in the UK who owned the Procter and Gamble headquarters in Newcastle and a factory in Petersfield in the UK. In 2013 Craig resigned from his post and sold his shares in CPD to set up Celtic Property which would be wholly owned privately by the three original partners. At the same time Celtic Property Development was re branded as CPS SA. Celtic Property has purchased a number of assets in Italy Spain and Poland including the Celtic House office building in Warsaw which was refurbished and sold, and Celtic Park Piaseczno where 35,000sq.m of office and warehouse space has been refurbished and redeveloped on 7.8 ha. The partners also help set up and had a 40% holding in M7 Central Europe before it was sold in 2015. They are also the owners of the self-storage company Przechowamy wszystko in Poland and are part owners of Novacloud, a Mexican software and App developer and La Mairena View which in turn owns 50 apartments in Spain. Today the group has over 600 tenants and permits for a further 7900sq.m has recently been received at its site in Piaseczno. Craig speaks English, and Polish and spends his time between Poland and the UK where his wife and three children live. He enjoys cycling and rugby.