Hammerson and Great Portland Estates are just weeks away from tax-transparent status after shareholders voted today in favour of the pair converting to REITs

Shareholders of both companies registered overwhelming support for changes in their respective company articles of association that would enable conversion on 2 January.

Hammerson’s conversion will eliminate around £400m of capital gains tax liabilities and make them the only property company to enjoy REIT status in the UK and France.

Speaking at the Hammerson EGM, chairman John Nelson said: ‘Hammerson’s proposed conversion to a REIT is an exciting development for the company. Following the conversion payment of approximately £100m. We will be in the unique position of having REIT status in the UK and SIIC status in France. I believe the introduction of the REITs in the UK will introduce new classes of investor to the real estate sector and increase liquidity and transparency in the market.’

Great Portland’s shareholders confirmed they were equally excited about the changes, which would eliminate around £108m of contingent capital gains tax.

Timon Drakesmith, Great Portland Estate’s finance director, said: ‘With market conditions in central London favouring our focused approach to the creation of value, we remain confident that, in the new UK-REIT environment, we will continue to deliver attractive returns for our shareholders.’