iNVEZZ.com, Wednesday, January 22: British Land (LON:BLND), the UK’s second-largest real estate investment trust (REIT), has sold the freehold of the Eastgate Shopping Centre in Basildon as part of its plan to dispose of assets that do not fit its strategy.
Earlier this month, the UK REIT entered a joint venture agreement with GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, for the development of London’s Broadgate office and retail complex (British Land share price: Company signs JV agreement with GIC). Today it revealed that the Basildon mall was sold to investment manager Infrared Capital Partners for £88.6 million.
The 700,000-sq-ft building comprises a covered shopping centre, an Asda supermarket, a Debenhams department store, two office buildings and a 696-space multi-storey car park. Other retailers at the site, which produces a net passing rent per annum of £6.5 million, include Superdry, New Look, H&M, River Island, Topshop, Next and Primark.
British Land Head of Retail Charles Maudsley said in the REIT’s statement today: “This year we will continue to sell retail assets which do not fit our strategy and reinvest the capital where we see better growth and return potential.”
**British Land stock now covered by HSBC**
Research analysts at HSBC initiated coverage of British Land shares in a report released today. The firm set an ‘overweight’ rating and an 814p price target on the stock. HSBC’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 21.04 percent from British Land’s current price.
On Monday, the REIT had an ‘outperform’ rating restated by analysts at BNP Paribas. They have a 720p price target on the stock. Last week, JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded British Land shares to a ‘neutral’ rating and now have a 680p price objective on the stock, up from their previous target of 670p.
Also last week, analysts at Jefferies Group upgraded the company to a ‘buy’ and raised their price target on the shares from 659p to 707p.
According to AnalystRatingsNetwork data, three research analysts have a ‘sell’ rating on British Land, 10 have it as a ‘hold’ and nine call it a ‘buy’. The stock’s average rating is ‘hold’ with a consensus price target of 641.82p.
British Land’s share price opened slightly higher this morning, but then edged lower. As of 12:13 UTC, the FTSE 100-listed property group was 0.52 percent down at 669p.
As of 12:13 UTC, buy British Land shares at 669.50p.
As of 12:13 UTC, sell British Land shares at 669.00p.