Capital & Counties to Sell Shares to Fund Purchases, Covent Garden Revamp

Capital & Counties Properties Plc (CAPC), the London company formed in last year’s breakup of Liberty International, announced a share sale to fund acquisitions and renovate properties in Covent Garden.

CapCo will sell 62.1 million new shares, equivalent to almost 10 percent of its outstanding stock, the company said today in a statement, without indicating a price. If the shares were sold at the current price, CapCo would raise about 100 million pounds ($165 million).

The proceeds from the share sale will accelerate CapCo’s efforts to reposition Covent Garden, the former market place for fruit and vegetables, in London’s West End district. The company attracted 36 new and higher-paying tenants to Covent Garden last year, including Apple Inc., helping lift the appraised value of its properties there by 14 percent to 640 million pounds.

Acquisitions and projects at Covent Garden “will accelerate CapCo’s strategy to create a contemporary luxury destination,” lifting rents and property values, the company said in the statement.

CapCo declined 7.4 pence, or 4.3 percent, to 164.2 pence at 9:27 a.m. in London trading. That lowered the value of the company to 1 billion pounds. The shares have advanced 17 percent in the past three months, exceeding the 10 percent gain for the FTSE 350 Real Estate Investment Trust Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simon Packard in London at packard@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net

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