Diageo plans shake-up for its London offices

Diageo, the food and drinks giant formed by the recent merger of Guinness and Grand Met, is undertaking a large shake-up of its property portfolio in London. The company says it will sell its offices in Portman Square, in the heart of London, as well as the lease on offices in Hammersmith, west London. Instead, it has bought the lease on a development in Wimpole Street in the capital's West End.

"We hope to complete the various transactions this coming week. We have agreed terms with the owners of the lease - Morgan Stanley - and hope to be formalising this week," a company spokesman said yesterday. Analysts expect the company to net around pounds 20m from the deals. The new office will become the headquarters of UDV, the group's spirits division. As for the old offices, the spokesman added: "We can't sell until we move the staff out, some time in the summer. The building is not yet for sale so it can't have a price tag on it."

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