British Land head Chris Grigg refuses to rule out a merger with the firm’s biggest rival, preferring to flag up its success in riding out the retail storm and rising to the flexible office challenge.
Asked if he has ever considered merging the property development behemoth with Landsec, tantalisingly, Grigg’s response is not an outright ‘no’. “What I would say is that it’s our job as a board to look at what’s in the best interest of our shareholders,” he says.
“If we took the view that it was the best outcome for our shareholders, then of course we would consider doing that seriously.”
While it may not be a wholehearted endorsement of the creation of ‘British Landsec’, it indicates that some thought has gone into the property merger to beat all UK property mergers, not that Grigg will be drawn any further on the subject – the likelihood of such a scenario is something I will have to put to industry commentators later.
What Grigg is here to talk about is the REIT’s latest full-year results, how well it has ridden the retail storm so far and what he makes of criticism that British Land has been slow to act in emerging sectors such as flexible workspace.
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