British Land


British Land

Infobox_Company
company_name = The British Land Company PLC
company_
company_type = Real estate investment trust
company_slogan =
foundation = 1856
location = London, England, UK
key_people = Sir John Ritblat (Honorary President) Dr Chris Gibson-Smith (Chairman)Stephen Hester (CEO)
num_employees = 804 (2007)
industry = Real estate
products = London offices and retail
revenue =
operating_income= £243m (2008)
net_income = £(1,563)m (2008)
homepage = [http://www.britishland.com www.britishland.com]

British Land Company PLC (lse|BLND) is one of the largest property development and investment companies in the United Kingdom. It converted to a Real Estate Investment Trust when REITs were introduced in the United Kingdom in January 2007. It is headquartered in London and traded on the London Stock Exchange. It is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

History

British Land was founded in 1856 as an offshoot of the National Freehold Land Society formed in 1849 with the two chief architects of the freehold land movement Richard Cobden and John Bright. Both were ardent supporters of a movement to extend enfranchisement. To qualify for a parliamentary vote it was then necessary to be a landowner and the main object of the National Freehold was to facilitate the acquisition of small plots of land by the people. To do this the British Land Co. would purchase land and then resell it again on the best terms to any customer who wanted to buy it. With extension of the franchise this reason ceased to govern the operation of the British Land Co and it began to operate as a normal business in the latter part of the Nineteenth Century. [W. C. March, The British Land Company Ltd. Centenary Booklet 1956]

In May 2005 British Land announced that it had agreed to purchase Pillar Property Plc for £811 million pounds in cash to boost its position in the out-of-town retail property sector. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4572097.stm British Land launches Pillar bid] ]

Between 1970 and 2006 it was chaired by Sir John Ritblat, [ [http://www.britishland.com/pressrelease20070101.htm New Chairman and REITs "Go Live"] ] one of the best known figures in the British property sector, whose knighthood was announced in the queen's new year's honours list for 2006.

Operations

As of 31 March 2008 the property portfolio was valued at £13.5 billion. [ [http://www.britishlandreports.com/financialreports/2008annualreport/portfolio_valuation.html Annual Report 2008] ] More than half of the portfolio is invested in retail. This includes the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, which is one of the largest in the UK, and a large amount of property which has been purchased from and leased back to major retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury's and ASDA. The other major group of assets is office property, most of which is in central London. This includes the Broadgate Estate near Liverpool Street station and Regent's Place near Euston Station. British Land has been involved in Broadgate, which is one of the largest development projects in London in recent decades and is still incomplete, since 1984, and after making a string of acquisitions on the estate over the years it acquired the last piece in 2003. In 2004 it received planning permission for a Richard Rogers designed skyscraper at 122 Leadenhall Street in the City of London which will become one of the tallest buildings in Western Europe. Construction of the tower began in October 2007 and completion was expected in 2011, but may be delayed because of the current economic downturn. The company have current proposals to extend Regent's Place as far as Osnaburgh Street with two new mixed use buildings designed by Terry Farrell and Wilkinson Eyre. In 2008 it was announced that the company will be the developer for the re-building of Euston Station. British Land have also proposed the construction of 103 Colmore Row in Birmingham.

References

External links

* [http://www.britishland.com Official site]
* [http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/q/pr?s=BLND.L Yahoo! profile]
* [http://www.answers.com/topic/british-land-plc Company History from Answers.com]


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