The Reading-based company, which focuses on office buildings in the south east, said today that it intended to elect for REIT status with effect from 1 April

It will hold an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders to approve a change in its articles of association before conversion.

McKay is one of six quoted property companies, including Derwent London, Big Yellow, Warner Estate Holding, Shaftesbury and A&J Mucklow, that intend to convert to REITs this year and join the nine that became REITs on 1 January.

In June last year McKay chairman Eric Lloyd said conversion would add 43p a share to the company's net asset value.

The company will pay a conversion fee - based on 2% of its gross assets - of around £9m, but write off deferred capital gains tax of nearly £20m. Around 38% of McKay is owned by the directors and by members of the family of founder Peter McKay.