I wonder if this is partly done to dilute Sammy Lee's holding.
Interesting strategy: which could work well, or could backfire - with uncertainty over Brexit & London's future as a place of business, if the future is good this could be a very good time to be buying commercial property there; on the other hand it could backfire. Either way they are strengthening their portfolio in the heart of the greatest city in the world. Surely with London's heritage and culture it will continue to attract tourists which many of the properties they own ultimately serve - shops, restaurants & bars.
On a glance through it seems the placing will not be open to Private Investors - BOOOOOOOO - but it makes sense from a business point of view: the placing becomes simpler and therefore cheaper.
With an NAV of 949, the current share price values the income portion of the business at less than 50p; and with an EPS of 108, that looks very cheap. Of course this is a problem of looking at different sectors. In most businesses the earnings is the key part of its valuation, but with property companies it's the book value.
Had a quick skip through, and it's always difficult when there are 2 sets of figures, sometimes with seemingly no correlation to each other, but basically turnover is up, profit is up, the size of the estate is up, dividend is up, NAV is up, vacancies are low, demand is high, so it looks OK. Of course debt is also up; but not unusual in a property company.
No mention (on skip through) of the acquisitive Mr Lee, but no need really.
I'm not sure if this share price is being kept inflated because of his buying, or whether it is a genuine price (I'm comfortable with it on basics) and we do not know what his intentions are. If he wants to own the company it will be the slowest take over in history.
Besides, he is a very rich man, but can he actually afford to buy the remaining shares?
Some time ago I actually wrote to the company secretary - saying I was a shareholder concerned about the stake building of Sam Lee - could they give us some clarification about the board's thoughts about this and his aim.
I did not even get the courtesy of an acknowledgement.
He's now got 19% - it's taken 3 months to hoover up the last 0.92% in which time it's only been around 900 for a very short time. However for him to have tipped the scales in the last couple of days, he must have been willing to up his buying price.
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