British Land CEO prepares to exit, successor announcement is close
With the UK’s giant retail landlords seeing major upheaval at present, changes at the top of any of these companies are closely watched and it seems that British Land will be in the spotlight with its longstanding CEO set to exit.
The company, which owns properties such as Sheffield’s Meadowhall and Plymouth’s Drake Circus, is actually the second-biggest listed property company in Britain.
CEO Chris Grigg is reportedly planning to step down, having been in charge since 2009, and the company is believed to be close to making a decision on his successor, according to Sky News.
Grigg has been instrumental in moving the company deeper into non-retail areas in recent years as physical retail has continued to decline. Retail property currently accounts for only a little more than 41% of its portfolio and this is seeing a planned reduction that should drop it to between 30% and 35% in the next few years.
That seems to have been a sensible decision with its owned asset base declining only 4.7% to £11.7 billion, compared to much bigger declines at major retail-focused sector peers.
British Land has been the UK landlord that has been least likely to support retailer plans for company voluntary arrangements and most recently in September last year began legal action to try to block the Monsoon Accessorize CVA.
Its rivals Hammerson and Intu have been seeing declines in the value of their assets recently as the process by which rents rose almost automatically every year seems to have come to an end on the back of the CVA proliferation. Intu in particular has been struggling and has been in talks to raise extra funds this month.
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