Slough Estates revealed this morning that it had begun a strategic review of its £1bn US business.

In a trading statement the company, which has £5.6bn of assets in the UK, continental Europe and the US said the review, which was still at an early stage, ‘involves consideration of a range of possible options, including an immediate or phased divestment and also joint venturing or merging Slough's US business with a third party’

Slough’s US business is focused on the providing business space for the biotech industry in San Francisco and San Diego.

Slough also announced it planned to follow Hammerson and apply for a secondary listing of its shares on the French Stock Exchange. Following this, Slough will also elect into France's REIT regime, the Sociétés d'Investissements Immobiliers Côtées (SIICs), with effect from 1 January.

Slough’s French assets account for 40% of its continental European portfolio. ‘France is a key target market for the group as we pursue our ambitious plans for growth,’ the company said.

Slough also confirmed it would convert to a REIT in the UK on 1 January and would adopt a new high pay-out dividend policy. ‘In determining the level of dividends following UK REIT conversion, the board's aim will be to achieve a sustainable, progressive policy which satisfies shareholders' expectations of a relatively high pay-out of recurring property rental income, whilst supporting the ongoing needs for capital,’ the company said.