Shaftesbury is to raise £150m through a fully underwritten rights issue in order to expand its property estate in London’s West End.

The company, the latest real estate group to tap investors for new cash to go spending in a depressed market, specialises in property around Chinatown, Covent Garden and Soho, much of which is rarely offered for sale owing to its diverse and often long-term ownership.

Shaftesbury has already re-entered the market with a number of recent acquisitions, partly to establish a new centre of activity around Berwick Street in Soho. To date the group has acquired 18 properties in the area with a value of £27.7m, plus properties in Chinatown at a cost of £14.8m.

Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph