Slough Estates brings in Maitland for City advice

Slough Estates, one of the UK’s biggest industrial property owners, has hired The Maitland Consultancy as it tries to convince the City of the profitability of its property portfolio.

The FTSE 250 company brought in Maitland last month, ending a seven-year relationship with Shared Value. Slough Estates director of corporate communications Michael Waring, who joined from United Business Media in October, said the pitch process also included Shared Value.

Maitland was retained to UBM until it was replaced with Citigate Dewe Rogerson in September, after Waring's departure (PRWeek, 16 September 2005).

Shared Value started working for Slough Estates in 1999, originally on a pure IR brief that subsequently expanded into corporate and financial comms.

IR has now been taken in-house, with Maitland providing corporate and financial comms support.

'The establishment of a fully fledged in-house corporate comms function and the hiring of Maitland are all part of the change that Slough Estates is going through,' said Waring.

Slough Estates has moved over 90 per cent of its portfolio into flexible business space and industrial real estate, such as the Slough Trading Estate. The strategy is designed to generate less volatile revenue streams than those derived from retail space. However, the company has until recently had difficulty in convincing the City that it has made its property portfolio significantly more profitable.

Slough Estates and its rivals are awaiting details of new legislation – due to be announced in next year's Budget – which will allow them to form UK Real Estate Investment Trusts. These would give greater flexibility to tap the capital markets.

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