Fiscal Properties widens its criteria

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

FISCAL PROPERTIES, which floated in April on a strategy of only investing in buildings occupied by government departments, is relaxing its investment criteria, writes Tom Stevenson.

Gordon Bloor, chief executive, said the proposed acquisition of 156 buildings formerly owned by the London Borough of Croydon fitted with Fiscal's previously ultra-cautious investment policy because of the blue-chip nature of the tenants it would inherit through the pounds 17.5m acquisition.

Croydon Land & Estates, which now owns the portfolio, is 95 per cent owned by Montagu Private Equity, a 35 per cent shareholder in Fiscal. CLE's chief executive is Mr Bloor's wife, Elizabeth Knowles.

Mr Bloor denied that there was a conflict of interest, adding that the properties had been bought from CLE at the same price at which they had been acquired in May. Because of the potential for conflict, however, shareholders will have to approve the deal.

Fiscal's first interim profits since flotation showed a loss before tax of pounds 562,000 compared with a pounds 164,000 profit in the first half of 1993. The figures included pounds 1.3m of non-recurring costs.

Fiscal's shares have performed badly since flotation, falling from 78p to 66p.