Berkeley raises £50m for land acquisitions

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The Independent Online

Berkeley has raised £50m from shareholders to bolster its war chest for land acquisitions, it said yesterday. The successful placing of 6 million shares was at a slim 2 per cent discount to Wednesday's closing price and represents 5 per cent of Berkeley's share capital. It was supported by the group's largest shareholder, Saudi Arabia-based Saad, and was fully underwritten by the investment bank UBS.

Berkeley said the placing would give it a £300m war chest to invest in new land. "The current market weakness presents exceptional value-creation opportunities for strong businesses," Berkeley said.

The company, run by Tony Pidgley, will look at land in markets where it currently operates, sticking to London regeneration sites and moving back into small executive sites ranging from five to 50 houses.