British Land invests 470 mln stg in Paddington estate

Fri Jul 5, 2013 2:56am EDT

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LONDON, July 5 (Reuters) - Property developer British Land said the investment of funds raised in March would boost earnings earlier than first planned, after it announced it had bought the majority of a London Paddington site for 470 million pounds ($708 million).

In March the firm raised almost 1 billion pounds for new investments and developments via a share placement and sale of an office block in the City of London financial district.

On Friday the firm said investment in the Paddington site in west London would take the total amount invested to over 750 million pounds.

"This is the most significant acquisition we have made since the equity placing in March and we are confident that investment of those proceeds will now be accretive to 2014 earnings, ahead of our original objective," chief executive Chris Grigg said.

Like its rivals Hammerson and Land Securities , British Land has been focusing on its core office and shopping centre businesses in London and key UK regions to combat the tough economic outlook facing property markets in Britain and Europe.

The group said it had acquired assets comprising the majority of Paddington Central, a 1.2 million square foot office-led, mixed use estate near Paddington train station.

The firm had bought three of the existing buildings, which house firms including AstraZeneca and Nokia, together with a retail and leisure cluster from funds controlled by Aviva Investors and other investors. The group has also bought an area for development of offices and a mixed-use site.

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