Durant, a 49-year-old chartered accountant, will join Liberty in the middle of this month, London-based Liberty said in a statement today. Smith, 48, joined Liberty in 1986.
Liberty rose by a record 9.2 percent in London trading yesterday after the Independent newspaper reported the company may be bought by a larger rival to become the world's biggest shopping-center owner. Today, the shares fell 27 pence, or 2.6 percent, to 1,003 pence.
Durant was the chief financial officer of Sea Containers Ltd., the Bermuda-based rail and shipping company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2006, between December 2005 and May 2007. He was finance director of Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd, the largest city-center office landlord in Hong Kong, between 1993 and 1998.
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