Real estate investment trust, Shaftesbury has announced it will offer rent deferrals for West End commercial occupiers and place a stop on all new schemes and acquisitions, in response to the Coronavirus outbreak in the UK.
Shaftesbury said it will remain committed to supporting its tenants through this period of “unprecedented upheaval.”
Following recent UK government actions to limit the spread of the virus, all non-essential stores, restaurants, cafés, and bars across the West End have closed.
In response to this, Shaftebury has placed a deferral on rent payments so businesses under pressure are in a position to continue trading once the current restrictions are lifted and to also help ease retailers’ cash flow problems.
In addition, the landlord has drawn an extra £150 million from revolving credit facilities, with total available liquidity around £170 million.
Since the shut-down in the UK has taken place, Shaftesbury cancelled its half-year dividend with the full-year dividend also possibly heading in the same direction.
Chief Executive, Brian Bickell, stated: “We are committed to supporting our occupiers and residents through this period of unprecedented upheaval in normal patterns of life and business activity. The ability of our commercial tenants to resume trading when current restrictions begin to be relaxed is our priority.”
“The global appeal and resilience of the West End and our locations, together with our initiatives in recent years to ensure our finances are robust, underpin the intrinsic worth of our impossible-to-replicate portfolio and the long-term value of our business.”