Sainsbury’s has created a new property division – Sainsbury’s Property Investments - to manage property joint ventures that it has entered into.

Peter Baguley, previously director of property, will take on the new role of managing director of the division reporting directly to Darren Shapland, chief financial officer on the main board.

Since March 2007 Sainsbury's has undertaken around £2bn of asset management activity, including two joint ventures.

Potential development opportunities

Sainsbury’s said it has created the new division as a: ‘dedicated resource to the ongoing management of the jvs and potential development opportunities to maximise value of its property assets.’

Sainsbury’s, the supermarket retailer, has also announced plans to bring a property role to its operating board as part of four new appointments.

New property director
John Rogers, currently director of group finance, will become property director – putting property at board level for the first time since Ian Coull departed as property director in 2002.

Rogers will report into Darren Shapland, chief financial officer.

The changes will be effective from 15 June 2008.

Strengthening operating board

Justin King, Sainsbury's chief executive, said: 'These changes further strengthen the operating board and will allow us to focus more effectively on the next stage of our development. I believe Sainsbury's has one of the strongest leadership teams in retailing in the UK and look forward to working more closely with Angela, Neil, John, Luke and Peter.'

Sainsbury’s has also completed a £58m sale and leaseback with Hermes of its stores in Beaconsfield and Oakley, Cheltenham. Both stores have been sold to Hermes Property Unit Trust with Sainsbury’s securing an average yield of 4.8%.