British Land steps up London investment programme

British Land has bought out joint-venture partner Tesco in the Surrey Quays Shopping Centre in an attempt to accelerate its investment programme in London and the South East.

British Land has bought out joint-venture partner Tesco in the Surrey Quays Shopping Centre in an attempt to accelerate its investment programme in London and the South East.

The property giant now owns the whole of the 300,000 square-foot retail asset in Canada Water after purchasing Tesco's 50% holding for £48m.

The deal included Tesco's commitment to a new long-term lease on its store and the petrol station, which accounts for a large part of the centre's income.

Other retailers in the centre include Bhs, River Island, New Look, JD Sports, Boots, Burton and Dorothy Perkins.

The company recently completed a share placing to raise almost half a billion pounds "to take advantage of an increased flow of more attractive investment opportunities, particularly in London and the South East"

British Land, which bought its original stake in 2009, is looking to "progress plans" next year for a £38m upgrade of the centre, which involves a refurbishment, a 100,000 sq ft extension and improvements to public spaces.

Chris Grigg, Chief Executive of British Land, said: "British Land's scale, access to finance, extensive relationships and expertise in planning, asset management and deal execution put us in a strong position to continue to source attractive acquisitions and to deliver superior total returns for our shareholders."

Harmsworth QuaysIn a separate statement, Southwark Council has given its approval for Daily Mail General Trust to assign its leasehold interest in the Harmsworht Quays print works site in Canada Water to British Land.

"The decision is a key milestone for the development which has the potential to deliver significant improvements to the local area."

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