Battersea Power Station to list in effort to find backers

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The owner of Battersea Power Station said yesterday that it planned to spin off the London landmark into a separate listed company next year, in an attempt to attract investors to help development of the site.

The disused coal-fired power plant on the south bank of the Thames was chosen by David Cameron as the site for the launch of the Conservatives' general election campaign three months ago, but it has not been used permanently since 1983 and has seen a number of high-profile development proposals fall flat.

The current owner of the site, Real Estate Opportunities, a company controlled by Treasury Holdings, said yesterday that the decision to move Battersea Power Station into a separate vehicle came after it decided the project was "a very distinctly different investment opportunity to the other parts of the portfolio".

Rob Ticknell, the managing director of REO, said: "Battersea Power Station is our standout project but now we need a major international partner. We have had lots of expressions of interest, from sovereign wealth funds, private equity firms and even some pension funds." The total development cost is expected to top £4.5bn.

Last year, REO applied for planning permission to turn the site – which has been a venue for concerts and underground raves, as well as a prospective Premiership football stadium – into flats, shops and offices.

However, the project was given only qualified approval by the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, whose office described the plans as "encouraging".

"This key part of the capital is the biggest development opportunity remaining in London and the power station is one of London's much-loved historic landmarks. It is vital that we get the redevelopment of this site right," Mr Johnson said at time.

A decision on the planning application is expected in September.