Three property companies – Great Portland Estates, Shaftesbury and Big Yellow – are preparing to raise a combined total of £330m to snap up bargain buildings during the recession.

City sources said the groups were finalising fundraisings that would raise capital to take advantage of the tough market conditions.

Word of the cash calls comes days after the entrepreneur Nick Leslau raised £200m for a new AIM-listed property fund to go “bottom fishing” for bargains.

DAVID Ross, the flamboyant co-founder of the Carphone Warehouse, will tomorrow spend about £250,000 on buying new shares in Big Yellow Group, the self storage company that will unveil plans for an equity fund-raising.

Great Portland Estates is believed to be the first publicly-listed property company to launch a rights issue just to fund acquisitions.

Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, Financial Times