Blackstone poised to snap up half of BritishLand's Broadgate complex

PROPERTY investment firm British Land is poised to complete the sale of half of its &pound;2.2bn City office complex Broadgate to US private equity house Blackstone.<br /><br />The two firms were last night thrashing out the terms of the deal, which will see Blackstone enter into a joint venture with British Land.<br /><br />Blackstone will pay just &pound;75m of the price in cash, but will take on about half of the &pound;2.1bn debt that British Land racked up to finance Broadgate.<br /><br />The deal, which offers a yield of around 7.1 per cent, is a strategic move for British Land, which already raised funds in a &pound;740m rights issue earlier this year.<br /><br />It will free up cash as the firm gears up for a major push back into the real estate market, with a deal to buy a retail park expected to complete next week. The deal would reduce the portion of British Land&rsquo;s portfolio accounted for by Broadgate to 16 per cent from 27 per cent.<br /><br />The company has been revamping its strategy under new chief executive Chris Grigg, the former Barclays and Goldman Sachs who took the helm of the firm in January. Both firms were unavailable for comment.