Canary to buy back stock
June 14, 2001 Posted: 1207 GMT
LONDON (CNN) -- Canary Wharf, Britain's second-largest property company, said on Thursday it plans to buy back $2.8 billion of stock over the next four years.
The company, which owns Britain's tallest building at its London Docklands development, had been widely expected to buy stock worth half its market value next year but has decided to bring forward those plans, analysts said.
"Our development, leasing and financing programmes are ahead of schedule, and this has enabled the anticipated return of capital to be brought forward," Chairman Paul Reichmann said.
Canary Wharf, which was saved from bankruptcy in the 1990s by the Reichmann family and Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, was floated on the London stock exchange in June 1999.
The company's stock rose 5.9 percent in midday trade to a six-month high of 560 pence in London, valuing the company at more than £3.7 billion.
The stock hit a peak of 574.25 pence in October but came under pressure as Alwaleed sold 4 percent of his 6 percent holding. Other investors also sold stock.
Reichmann's family, the high-flying Canadian developers of the 1980s, currently own about 6.5 percent of Canary Warf.
Canary Warf said about 96 percent of its 13.5-million square foot site near the Thames in east London was now completed or under development, and 90 percent was leased.
It counts investment banks Bear Stearns, Citibank, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, The Bank of New York among its tenants.
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