Liberty on verge of split

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The Independent Online

Property giant Liberty International is expected to confirm plans that it is to split into two parts when it announces its results later this week. It is believed it may also detail plans to raise more cash from investors in a rights issue.

Although sources close to Liberty, which boasts a £6.1bn portfolio, sought to play down talk that a demerger would be followed by the third rights issue in two years, one leading City fund manager has said that of all the listed property companies, it has the greatest need for capital: "It's the least capitalised in the sector. It needs to do something." Should the plan go ahead as expected, the Liberty name will likely be axed, said analysts.

Land Securities Group, a competing Real Estate Investment Trust, considered splitting its London and retail portfolios but instead opted to sell its property services unit, Trillium, in 2008.

In a busy week, Old Mutual and Standard Life will also report full-year figures to the market.