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UK Sparks: Capital & Regional In Talks To Sell Majority Stake


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Shopping centres owner Capital & Regional has announced that it is in talks that would see South Africa’s Growthpoint Properties acquire a majority stake in the company. It says the potential transaction would be a combination of a partial offer in cash for Capital & Regional shares and an injection of capital to support the group’s strategy through a subscription for new shares. No other details are provided at this stage. Growthpoint is the largest real estate investment trust with its primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Separately, Capital & Regional has issued interim results showing a 4.5% drop in adjusted profits from £15.5m to £14.8m. At the statutory pre-tax level, it made a loss of £55.4m, compared to a £6.7m profit a year earlier, mainly due to a fall in property valuations. Net asset value per share fell from 66p to 51p.

Construction group Galliford Try has announced a 27% fall in full-year pre-tax profits from £144m to £105m after exceptional costs of £50.8m. Revenues declined from £3.1bn to £2.9bn. The exceptional costs include £26m to complete the Aberdeen western peripheral route. The company, which yesterday announced talks to sell its house building arms to Bovis Homes, says the potential combination represents a “superb opportunity,” enhancing its prospects to thrive as a “strategically focused and well-financed operation with excellent opportunities for growth”.

Car dealerships group Inchcape has agreed to sell three Volkswagen, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover showrooms in Australia to Sime Darby Motors for £63m. This disposal follows the sale of three other Australian sites announced earlier this year. Inchcape says the disposals will streamline its Australasia business around Subaru and Peugeot Citroen. The three sites have generated £79m of revenue so far this financial year and their sale will result in a small gain. Inchcape will incur exceptional reorganisation costs of between £5m-£8m.

Housebuilder Crest Nicholson Holdings has appointed former Tate & Lyle chief executive Iain Ferguson as non-executive chairman from November 1. He will succeed Stephen Stone, who moved from chief executive to executive chairman in March 2018 and has been non-executive chairman since April. Crest says that the company and Mr Stone feel this is “the appropriate time” for him to step down and be succeeded by an independent non-executive chairman.

Man Group president and executive director Jonathan Sorrell is to leave after eight years at the hedge fund manager to take on a new role outside the company.

Finally, outsourcing company Serco Group has won a two-year extension to a contract to provide immigration detention services for the Australian government.

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