London landlord Shaftesbury seeks to raise £297m in cash call as it struggles to survive the virus crisis
London landlord Shaftesbury has gone cap-in-hand to investors to raise £297million as it struggles to weather the coronavirus crisis.
The firm, which owns Carnaby Street and swathes of Soho and Covent Garden, said it would use the cash raised by selling new shares to pay down its debt, invest in refurbishments, and give it breathing space ahead of what is expected to be a tough winter for retailers.
Retail slump: London landlord Shaftesbury, which owns Carnaby Street (pictured) and swathes of Soho and Covent Garden, has gone cap-in-hand to investors to raise £297m
Rival Capital & Counties, already an investor in Shaftesbury, will buy £65million of the shares for 400p each.
Shaftesbury boss Brian Bickell said Covid-19 has had a ‘material adverse effect on normal patterns of activity and business in the West End’.
Many Shaftesbury tenants have been unable to pay their rents as a result. As of last month, it had collected just 41 per cent of the rent it was owed for the six months to September.
But Bickell remained positive, adding: ‘We will be well-placed to benefit from the gradual return to more normal patterns of life and activity that have always made London’s West End an unrivalled global destination.’