Capital & Regional makes 33m buy pounds: Property group returns to acquisition trail

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The Independent Online
CAPITAL and Regional Properties returned to the acquisition trail yesterday, paying pounds 33.4m for a portfolio of commercial and residential investments, writes Tom Stevenson.

The acquisition of R Green from Throgmorton, the investment trust, will be part-financed by a one-for- two rights issue at 173p to raise pounds 25.3m. The shares closed 6p lower yesterday at 210p.

The deal means Capital has spent more than pounds 60m on properties in the past 12 months. Martin Barber, chairman, said: 'We have demonstrated our ability to buy well and I believe the acquisition will bring a substantial portfolio that provides a range of opportunities.'

The portfolio, mainly in the South-east, includes the Aylsham Centre in Peckham, a shopping centre built in the late 1980s, a business park in Gloucester, an industrial estate in Didcot and offices in Epsom and Brighton.

Capital also announced an almost threefold increase in profits before tax for the year to December from pounds 420,000 to pounds 1.17m.

Net assets rose from 158p to 164p. A final dividend of 1p makes a total for the year of 1.5p, a 36 per cent improvement.

Throgmorton said the disposal of Green reflected its strategy of restoring the trust to its basic role as a specialist investor in small quoted companies.