LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - British Land said itswould-be partner in London's Broadgate office complex had beenselected by U.S. private equity group Blackstone andsuggested a final decision would be made soon.
British Land and Blackstone own equal shares of theBroadgate estate, a 30-acre site in London's City financialdistrict whose tenants include Swiss bank UBS.
Reuters reported in August that Blackstone was planning tosell its stake for more than 1.7 billion pounds ($2.7 billion)to a sovereign wealth fund, according to a source familiar withthe deal. British media later said the fund was Singapore's GIC.
"The situation, as we understand it, is that Blackstone haveselected a preferred partner and we're very comfortable withthat preferred partner," British Land's Chief Executive ChrisGrigg told Reuters on Wednesday, declining to comment on thebuyer's identity.
"I don't think this is a process that will go on for a hugeamount of time but time will tell," he said as the companyannounced half-year results.
The company, Britain's second-largest listed developer afterLand Securities, said it expects the investments it hadmade over the six months to Sept. 30 to boost 2013/14 earnings,ahead of expectations.
It raised 500 million pounds through a share placement inMarch, which British Land said it had now fully invested indeals such as a 470 million pound office complex in west London.It said its development portfolio was now 61 percent exposed toLondon and south east England.
The company said EPRA net asset value per share - a keyindustry measure of performance - rose 4.5 percent to 623 penceover the six months, from 596 pence in the same period lastyear.
At 0842 GMT, shares in British Land were 0.48 percent lowerat 617 pence, valuing the company at 6.25 billion pounds.
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