Shares slump at L&S after GE pulls out

SHARES in London & Stamford Property plunged by more than 13 per cent yesterday after its largest shareholder sold its stake in the struggling business.

London & Stamford stock fell by 13.2 per cent during the day before closing down 7.55 per cent at 106.5p after GE Asset Management offloaded all of its 74m shares, raising around £74m.

General Electric Pension Trust’s investment manager is selling up after a reshuffle of the top tier of the business. London & Stamford brought the external management board in-house after the retirement of Jim Mara, head of venture capital at the asset management arm of GE.

Mara has known two of the founders of London & Stamford, veteran real estate entrepreneurs Raymond Mould and Patrick Vaughan, for nearly two decades.

“We understand that the sale of the stake, although not the timing, was largely anticipated following the internalisation of the property management last year,” Numis said.

GE has intended to sell about 50m shares initially but then decided to cash out because of the strength of demand. Credit Suisse was the sole bookrunner and was joint lead manager with Peel Hunt.

London & Stamford, which owns One Carter Lane and Fleet Place in the City, posted a pre-tax loss of £3.4m for the six months to September, compared with a profit of £23.2m in the same period last year.