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Capital & Counties considers break up of Covent Garden and Earls Court assets

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LONDON (Reuters) – British property developer Capital & Counties Properties <CAPCC.L> said on Thursday it was considering a possible demerger, creating two separately-listed businesses based around its two landmark estates of Covent Garden and Earls Court.

Investors would be able to continue investing in both businesses, which have “distinct risk and reward profiles and capital requirements,” the company said in a statement.

Following the decision, Ian Durant has decided to step down as chairman and will be replaced by Henry Staunton, the current senior independent director, with effect from June 5.

The demerger, which could be formalised by the end of this year, will see Covent Garden trading as an independent retail-focused Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) led by Ian Hawksworth, while a separate development company would be created around the Earls Court estate under the leadership of Gary Yardley.

Covent Garden was independently valued at over 2.5 billion pounds ($3.34 billion) at 31 December 2017 while Capco’s share of property interests at Earls Court was independently valued at 759 million pounds as of last year.

($1 = 0.7487 pounds)

(Reporting By Pamela Barbaglia, editing by Sinead Cruise)

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