Capco buys Lon­don es­tate

Business Day - - FRONT PAGE - Karl Ger­net­zky and Alis­tair An­der­son

Cap­i­tal & Coun­ties (Capco), spun out of SA busi­ness­man Don­ald Gor­don’s Lib­erty In­ter­na­tional in 2010, says it has £900m (R17bn) for new ac­qui­si­tions and has al­ready al­lo­cated some of it to spend on two new prop­er­ties.

Cap­i­tal & Coun­ties (Capco), spun out of SA busi­ness­man Don­ald Gor­don’s Lib­erty In­ter­na­tional in 2010, says it has £900m (R17bn) for new ac­qui­si­tions and has al­ready al­lo­cated some of it to spend on two new prop­er­ties.

The com­pany re­cently sold its stake in Earls Court for more than R8bn and is fo­cus­ing on its iconic re­tail es­tate as­set, Covent Gar­den, the first mod­ern shop­ping square in Lon­don.

It is the main rev­enue con­trib­u­tor for Capco while Earls Court, which is be­ing ex­panded to han­dle thou­sands more peo­ple, has been a lag­gard.

Capco CEO Ian Hawksworth said ear­lier in 2019 the as­sets needed to be housed sep­a­rately be­cause of the wide di­ver­gence in their per­for­mance.

Covent Gar­den has been per­form­ing well de­spite Brexit un­cer­tainty, but the value of Earls Court has been eroded. At the end of June Covent Gar­den was val­ued at £2.6bn (R49bn), an in­crease of 0.5% com­pared with De­cem­ber 2018, sup­ported by reg­u­lar in­come growth and up­ward rental re­ver­sions.

Covent Gar­den spans about 112,000m² of let­table space in 79 build­ings and 526 units.

The com­pany said on Mon­day it has in­vested £50m to ac­quire two prop­er­ties on the south­ern side of Covent Gar­den, in­clud­ing £34m for 5-6 Hen­ri­etta Street, a multi-let build­ing. The build­ing pro­duces an­nual rental in­come of £1.2m across 1,328m², most of it restau­rant space.

In Novem­ber, Capco also ac­quired the free­hold in­ter­est of Sus­sex Man­sions for £17.8m, be­fore pur­chas­ing costs.

The com­pany’s share price lost 0.45% to R46.14 on Mon­day morn­ing, par­ing its year-to-date gain to 8.95%.

R49bn The value of Covent Gar­den at the end of June 2019

8.95% The year-to­date gain in Capco’s share price on the JSE

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