Benchmark spends pounds 120m on properties
Friday 06 June 1997
The news, which took the value of Benchmark's portfolio to pounds 330m, moved the company closer to its stated aim of having a portfolio worth pounds 500m by the year 2001.
Benchmark bought 11 properties from Friends Provident for pounds 82m, and a pounds 38m West End location, Wool House, from Chelsfield.
The group will raise pounds 119m for the deal through a rights issue of over 60 million new ordinary shares at 200p a share. Shareholders' approval will be sought at an extraordinary general meeting at the end of the month.
KC Wong, joint managing director, said he was casting his eye over "undervalued assets" over the next year, and could justify spending around pounds 100m if the opportunity arose. However, he added: "We're not growing for the sake of growing; we'll buy as and when the opportunities arise."
The Friends Provident deal on properties in central London and Leadenhall in the City, followed talks since last October, when FP sold a central London portfolio to Benchmark for pounds 113m, in return for a 35 per cent stake in the company. The move transformed Benchmark overnight from a pounds 3m tiddler into a business with a market worth of pounds 100m. The company was last night valued at pounds 147m. Shares jumped 4p to 244p yesterday.
Benchmark will undertake office refurbishments of the central London sites formerly owned by FP, and has applied for planning permission to create 22,000 square feet of offices in the Leadenhall location.
Mr Wong said the company had been "pointed in the direction" of the Chelsfield acquisition. Planning permission at Wool House has already been obtained, and work is to begin shortly on 97,750 square feet of offices, and a smaller area of residential developments.
Benchmark declared a maiden dividend of 3p a share for the year to the end of June this year, instead of a final dividend at the end of the year. As a result of the deals Benchmark would be taking on another three senior managers, Mr Wong said.
- 1 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 2 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
Top 20 misconceptions people believe are true
Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
iJobs Money & Business
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...
£22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...