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Capco considers demerger

Property company Capital & Counties Properties (Capco) has announced it is considering splitting the business into two distinct London focused companies.

The split would see two new companies formed, one centring on Covent Garden, led by Ian Hawksworth, current chief executive of Capco. The second would be a development company based around the Earls Court area and let by Gary Yardley.

The rising profile of Covent Garden and the completion of the final phase of demolition at Earls Court prompted the announcement, with the hopes that the move will “enhance strategic flexibility” for the two businesses as well as shifting its shareholder base for each business.

If the demerger goes ahead, it is expected that the move will be completed by the end of 2018.

Commenting on the results, Ian Hawksworth said: “Capco has achieved significant growth since listing, driving value creation from its two prime central London estates, both of which have positive long-term growth prospects.”

“Underpinned by a strong balance sheet, Capco is well-positioned to support the current capital requirements of both of its prime assets. Against this backdrop, the board believes the time is right to consider the structure of the business in order to realise the potential of these unique assets and enhance shareholder value.”

As a result of the announcement, chairman Ian Durant is set to resign from his position, which he has held for eight years, as he: “believes it would be appropriate to put in place his successor to lead the board through this process”.

Henry Staunton, currently senior independent director of Capco, has been appointed as his replacement, effective 5 June. Staunton is the former Finance Director of Granada and ITV, and is currently Chairman of WH Smith PLC and Phoenix Group Holdings Limited.

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