Shaftesbury bolstered by West End property investment boom

 
Kasmira Jefford
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Shaftesbury said international retailers were flocking to take up space in Carnaby Street.
SHAFTESBURY has seen the value of its West End estate soar over the past year, thanks to booming investor interest in London’s prime property market.

The FTSE 250 landlord, which owns hundreds of properties around Carnaby Street, Covent Garden, Chinatown, and Soho, posted a 25.7 per cent jump in net asset value per share to £7.13 in the year to 30 September.

Chief executive Brian Bickell said strong demand from new international retailers setting up shop in London for the first time had helped boost its portfolio, as well as strong demand from investor piling into the West End.

“People are paying prices that seem quite high on the face of it, but they are buying security and they are buying growth. Interest rates are very low, there is a lot more money around for finance and margins have come down considerably,” Bickell told City A.M.

Shaftesbury has also attracted interest from investors. Fund manager Invesco Perpetual bought into the firm for the first time last December and has become its largest shareholder with a stake of 11 per cent.

Samuel Tak Lee, the Hong Kong billionaire and owner of the Langham Estate, has also built up a stake of five per cent. Bickell would not comment on rumours of a takeover: “[He] is an astute guy. He would know better than anyone how valuable these long-term interests are.”