Shaftesbury and Capco, two major property companies in central London, have agreed to move forward with a merger plan. After months of negotiations, the two giants will combine their portfolios, which include prominent areas such as Covent Garden, Seven Dials, Soho, and Carnaby. The merger will be carried out through a scheme of arrangement by Shaftesbury, resulting in Capco Group owning 100% of Shaftesbury’s share capital.

Upon completion of the merger, Shaftesbury shareholders (excluding Capco shareholders) will own 53% of the combined group, while Capco shareholders will own 47%. Capco currently holds around 25.2% of Shaftesbury’s issued share capital, equating to approximately 97 million shares. The merged company will be named Shaftesbury Capital once the merger is finalized.

With a combined portfolio value of approximately £5 billion, the merger creates a formidable real estate entity. The merged group is expected to generate an annual gross income of approximately £165.5 million and an estimated rental value of approximately £218 million as of March 31st. The portfolio will consist of around 670 predominantly freehold buildings, providing 2.9 million square feet of lettable space across approximately 2,000 commercial and residential units. Retail properties will make up approximately 35% of the portfolio, valued at £1.7 billion.

Beyond the financial benefits, the merged company aims to strengthen its balance sheet, enhance trading liquidity, and raise its profile in the capital markets. The companies also share a commitment to environmental and social responsibility, with plans to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2030. They aspire to become leaders in sustainability for heritage and period properties in the UK.

The newly merged company will be led by Jonathan Nicholls as the non-executive chairman and Ian Hawksworth as the chief executive. Situl Jobanputra will serve as the CFO, while Chris Ward will take on the role of COO. An executive committee, consisting of the CEO, CFO, COO, and three others, will oversee day-to-day management. Michelle McGrath from Capco will be in charge of the enlarged Covent Garden portfolio, including Capco’s assets. Shaftesbury’s assets in Seven Dials, Opera Quarter, and Coliseum will fall under her purview. Andrew Price from Shaftesbury will handle the Carnaby, Chinatown, Soho, and Fitzrovia portfolios, while Samantha Bain-Mollison will oversee leasing operations.

The merger will also bring about the retirement of several longstanding directors. Brian Bickell, who has been with Shaftesbury for 36 years and served as CEO for 11 years, will step down. Executive directors Simon Quayle and Tom Welton, who have 35 and 33 years of experience at Shaftesbury respectively, will also leave the company. In addition, Henry Staunton, who has served as chairman of Capco for 12 years, will retire from the Capco Board.

Useful links:
Shaftesbury Official Website
Capco Official Website