£1.5bn for SEGRO’s US Life Sciences real estate business
SEGRO, formerly known as Slough Estates, which owns 17 business schemes in the East of England, has announced the sale of its Life Sciences real estate business in the US for £1.5bn and a £250m dividend for its investors.
The firm said it plans to return £250m to shareholders via a special dividend, equivalent to 53p per share.
Following the disposal, the firm expects to receive around £550m net cash after taking into consideration the estimated £583m in debt which is to be transferred with the business, anticipated taxation of around £297m and £25m in costs.
The £324m that remains will be used temporarily to reduce the group’s debt before being re-invested into the group’s growth plans in Europe.
SEGRO has a substantial potential development pipeline in the UK and Continental Europe which, as at 31 December 2006, had a potential future expenditure on existing land holdings amounting to almost £1.6 billion.
A strategic review of Slough Estates was announced in November 2006.
“SEGRO has a well established platform upon which to grow its core flexible business space model, both in the UK and in continental Europe, where we see excellent opportunities to apply our skills and to achieve attractive total returns,” said Ian Coull, SEGRO CEO.