Reuters – British Land said its would-be partner in London’s Broadgate office complex had been selected by U.S. private equity group Blackstone and suggested a final decision would be made soon.
British Land and Blackstone own equal shares of the Broadgate estate, a 30-acre site in London’s City financial district whose tenants include Swiss bank UBS.
Reuters reported in August that Blackstone was planning to sell its stake for more than 1.7 billion pounds ($2.7 billion) to a sovereign wealth fund, according to a source familiar with the deal. British media later said the fund was Singapore’s GIC .
“The situation, as we understand it, is that Blackstone have selected a preferred partner and we’re very comfortable with that preferred partner,” British Land’s Chief Executive Chris Grigg told Reuters on Wednesday, declining to comment on the buyer’s identity.
“I don’t think this is a process that will go on for a huge amount of time but time will tell,” he said as the company announced half-year results.
The company, Britain’s second-largest listed developer after Land Securities, said it expects the investments it had made over the six months to Sept. 30 to boost 2013/14 earnings, ahead of expectations.
It raised 500 million pounds through a share placement in March, which British Land said it had now fully invested in deals such as a 470 million pound office complex in west London. It said its development portfolio was now 61 percent exposed to London and south east England.
The company said EPRA net asset value per share – a key industry measure of performance – rose 4.5 percent to 623 pence over the six months, from 596 pence in the same period last year.
At 0842 GMT, shares in British Land were 0.48 percent lower at 617 pence, valuing the company at 6.25 billion pounds.