Thursday deadline for British Land’s Meadowhall stake sale

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The Independent Online

British Land is trying to complete the sale of a £600m stake in Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre before its third-quarter results on Thursday.

The property giant is also considering a rights issue that would see it tap existing shareholders for more cash, to see it through problems with declining property values.

If British Land does go ahead with this move, it is almost certain to be joined by a fellow FTSE 100 group, the mining behemoth Rio Tinto.

Adviser JP Morgan Cazenove is thought to be finalising a multi-billion-pound rights issue in time for the full-year results on Thursday. Rio is also raising cash through asset sales.

A British Land management awayday on Thursday failed to reach a conclusion on how to overcome its £4bn-plus debt problems.

A source close to the Meadowhall sale, under which AIM-listed property fund London & Stamford would take a 50 per cent stake in the shopping centre, said that it “could be assumed” British Land wanted a deal finalised for Thursday.

Some analysts would like to see a rights issue of up to £1bn, but this sum is unlikely as it would severely dilute the shares. British Land is currently worth £2.2bn.

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