The Great Debate UK

from Commentaries:

British Land’s best assets – its liabilities

British Land is in a good position to take advantage of opportunities. We know because the chairman told us. Why then, is he supposed to be contemplating selling a stake in London office complex Broadgate to Blackstone?

Given how far prices have fallen, the timing looks odd, especially for a company that claims to be in a solid financial position. However, it may make more sense than it appears to. Bank lending and property markets are soft, but the peculiarities of Broadgate's debt structure may make it worth while for both sides.

Broadgate, now over 20 years old, is showing its age and, at 2.2 billion pounds, is an uncomfortably big lump in British Land's portfolio. Selling a stake would allow the company to reduce risk and diversify its business.

For a buyer, the attraction lies as much in the quality of Broadgate's liabilities as those of its assets. The estate may need some work, but it has a state-of-the-art pre-credit crisis debt structure, which any buyer would inherit.

from For the Record:

Watching our language: Writing about the financial crisis

dean-150Dean Wright is Global Editor, Ethics, Innovation and News Standards. Any opinions are his own.

The global financial crisis may have drained the coffers of investors, businesses and nations, but it’s making our language a bit richer as we discover, revive, coin and develop words and phrases to help make sense of it all.

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