Pillar signs pounds 250m property deal ahead of flotation

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The Independent Online
PILLAR Property Investments, the property company planning a flotation, has signed a joint venture with a Canadian group to invest up to pounds 250m in retail property, writes Heather Connon.

Pillar was formed in 1991 by Arlington Securities, British Aerospace's property subsidiary, although BAe sold its stake to its partners General Electric and Electra last year.

The decision to float was announced last month and Pillar said yesterday these plans were proceeding, despite the uncertainty in the stock market. Several property floats have been abandoned because the discounts to net assets expected by investors were too large. The joint venture is with Societe Immobiliere Trans-Quebec, a Canadian property company, under which the two companies will invest up to pounds 125m each in shopping centres.

Many investors are keen on retail property, which has pushed prices up sharply in the past year. But Humphrey Price, Pillar's finance director, said the joint venture aimed to buy properties which were 'not in peak condition' and manage them more actively.