Major Transformation for London’s West End?Digital Editor
After much speculation over the past two years, this week saw Central London’s best known tourist destinations coming together under the ownership of one single company.
It is great to see the merger of Capital & Counties and Shaftesbury taking place – it’s rumoured around the meeting rooms here at Television Centre that the deal could be finalised this week.
The £3.5 billion merger would see Covent Garden, Chinatown, Carnaby Street and parts of Soho all owned by one giant landlord – having the potential to own almost 3 million sq ft of prime London real estate. The adjacent New West End Company members will be keeping a careful eye!
Assets in London’s West End do not come on the market often, and if they do companies are prepared to pay very high prices. A new structure has apparently been thrashed out by the two real estate powerhouses and major shareholders have signed off on the idea. The larger the asset portfolio, the harder for people to take you out because there is strength in numbers.
The merged company would be led by Ian Hawsworth, boss of Capco, and chaired by Jonathan Nicholls, chair of Shaftesbury.