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British Land makes £401mln West End property sale


British Land PLC (LON:BLND) said it has sold a 75% stake in three buildings in London’s West End to German insurer Allianz for £401mln.

The three buildings comprise 134,000 square foot of multi-let office space on Portman Square.

The FTSE 100 group will retain a 25% stake in the properties, which were valued at £508mln at end September, 2020, and carried an annual rent then of £21.1mln.

Underlying earnings per share will decline by around 1.4p following the sales and before any reinvestment while the group’s LTV (loans to value) ratio will drop by 2.7%.

“The transaction represents a blended net initial yield of 4.32%, a premium to September book value and is expected to complete in January,” British Land said in a statement.

The group added had now made disposals totalling £1.1bn this financial year to March 2021 as it re-jigs its portfolio to cope with the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Recent results for the half-year to end September showed British Land’s losses widening to £730mln (2019: £404mln) reflecting a £625mln property value write-down.

“This transaction demonstrates our commitment to recycle capital out of assets not aligned to our core focus on mixed-use London campuses,” it added.

Simon Carter, the real estate firm’s chief executive, added: “This transaction demonstrates that like us, investors remain confident in the long- term prospects for high-quality assets in prime London locations.”

British Land will continue to manage all three buildings for a fee.

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