UK starts sell-off of huge King's Cross development

The British government has fired the starting gun on a plan to sell its stake in Europe’s largest city-centre redevelopment project around London’s King’s Cross station, in its latest disposal aimed at boosting state coffers.

Britain’s Department of Transport said the sale of its 36.5% stake in the 67-acre King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership site, currently being turned into offices and residential properties, would be a multi-million euro deal, with all proceeds going to the Treasury.

“By selling the government’s shares in King’s Cross Central, we are selling an asset we no longer need to keep and realising its value for the taxpayer. The sale will help reduce the deficit,” transport minister Robert Goodwill said in a statement yesterday.

The sale, first announced by the chancellor, George Osborne, in June, will be handled by Lazard and real estate advisory firm Savills.

Logistics company DHL is also selling off its 6% stake in the project. The total project has an estimated potential end value over £5bn (€7bn), Savills said in a statement.

Other shareholders include Australian pension company AustralianSuper, which holds a 25% stake, and Argent King’s Cross, the estate’s asset manager working alongside Hermes Investment Management, which owns a 32.5% stake.

Britain is raising money by selling off publicly owned assets to pay down its national debt and help rebalance the country’s books.

Earlier this year, it sold its 40% stake in the Eurostar rail link. The government has already raised more than £16bn from the sale of shares in state-supported lenders Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland.


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