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LONDON-Slough Estates has become the latest quoted property company to announce its intentions to convert to REIT status next year. All five of the property companies in the FTSE 100 have now signaled their intention to convert.

“The major restructuring of the UK business in 2005 has helped to deliver good results,” says chief executive Ian Coull in a statement. “Our Continental European business has rewarded our investment with a lettings-performance ahead of our expectations. The business is in good shape to maximize its opportunities in a REIT environment.”

According to the company’s website, Slough develops and invests in property located in the UK, Continental Europe and North America. The focus is on edge-of-town, flexible business space providing multi-use facilities for industrial and office.

The company would convert to REIT status on Jan. 1 if the move is approved at a shareholder meeting in the fourth quarter of this year. The statement adds: “We believe that Slough Estates will represent an attractive REIT investment. We have a strong concentration on a specific asset category focused on flexible business space with a high-quality income profile, a diversified customer base, financial strength and good growth prospects.”

In the UK, Slough has started construction on nearly 58,000 sm of new development projects, and officials say the UK portfolio has increased by 6.7% in value. Its operations in Continental Europe have doubled in size since the integration of acquisitions at the end of 2005. Slough officials say they expect increased occupier demand in Europe, adding that they were receiving high levels of enquiries without needing to offer incentives.

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