British Land

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The British Land Company plc
Type Real estate investment trust
Traded as LSEBLND
Industry Real estate
Founded 1856
Headquarters London, England
Key people Sir John Ritblat (Honorary President)
Dr Chris Gibson-Smith (Chairman)
Chris Grigg (Chief Executive)
Products London offices and retail
Revenue £329 million (2013)[1]
Operating income £274 million (2013)[1]
Net income £284 million (2013)[1]
Website britishland.com

The British Land Company plc is one of the largest property development and investment companies in the United Kingdom. The firm became a real estate investment trust when REITs were introduced in the UK in January 2007. It is headquartered in London. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index and a founding member of the European Public Real Estate Association.

History[edit]

British Land was founded in 1856 as an offshoot of the National Freehold Land Society (later Abbey National) formed in 1849 with the two chief architects of the freehold land movement Richard Cobden and John Bright. Both were ardent supporters of a movement to extend enfranchisement. To qualify for a parliamentary vote it was then necessary to be a landowner and the main object of the National Freehold was to facilitate the acquisition of small plots of land by the people. To do this the British Land Co. would purchase land and then resell it again on the best terms to any customer who wanted to buy it. With extension of the franchise this reason ceased to govern the operation of the British Land Co and it began to operate as a normal business in the latter part of the Nineteenth Century.[2]

In May 2005 British Land announced that it had agreed to purchase Pillar Property Plc for £811 million in cash to boost its position in the out-of-town retail property sector.[3]

In 2006 Sir John Ritblat, who had chaired the company since 1970, stood down and was replaced by Chris Gibson-Smith.[4]

Operations[edit]

As of 31 December 2013 the property portfolio was valued at £5.5 billion.[1] More than half of the portfolio is invested in retail. This includes the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, which is one of the largest in the UK, and a large amount of property which has been purchased from and leased back to major retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury's, House of Fraser and Asda. The other major group of assets is office property, most of which is in central London. This includes the Broadgate Estate, one of the largest developments in London over several decades,[5] and Regent's Place near Warren Street Station.[6]

In 2004 it received planning permission for a Richard Rogers designed skyscraper at 122 Leadenhall Street (The Cheese Grater) in the City of London which will become one of the tallest buildings in Western Europe. Construction of the tower began in October 2007 and completion is expected in 2014.[7]

In October 2011, the company placed in the number one position, with 135 subsidiaries, on a list of FTSE 100 companies that use tax havens for their operations, as revealed in a database of their subsidiaries compiled for the first time by the development charity ActionAid.[8]

Bonuses[edit]

In 2009, Chris Grigg was paid an annual bonus of £178,787. In the same year co-head of asset management, Andrew Jones, took home an annual bonus of £350,000 and Head of Office's Tim Roberts received an annual bonus of £310,000.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Annual Report 2013
  2. ^ W. C. March, The British Land Company Ltd. Centenary Booklet 1956
  3. ^ "British Land launches Pillar bid". BBC. 23 May 2005. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Gibson-Smith to helm British Land". London: The Telegraph. 14 July 2006. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Wearden, Graeme (18 September 2009). "British Land to sell half of Broadgate stake to Blackstone". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "British Land - creating a masterplan for one of London's most deprived areas". The Guardian. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "British Land pre-lets 10 floors of office space to Aon in the Cheese Grater building". SOS News. 16 May 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  8. ^ Lawrence, Felicity (11 October 2011). "Third of votes cast against British Land pay report". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  9. ^ Croft, Adrian (11 July 2009). "Third of votes cast against British Land pay report". Thomson Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 

External links[edit]