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Shaftesbury PLC (SHB)

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Thursday 29 July, 1999

Shaftesbury PLC


29 July 1999

                  SHAFTESBURY PLC
  £21.5m Acquisition of Covent Garden and Soho Properties

Shaftesbury PLC, the West End property investment company,
announces that it has contracted to buy freehold and long
leasehold properties near Seven Dials Covent Garden, London
WC2 and in Soho, London W1 from Benchmark Group PLC for £21.5m
cash.  Completion of the purchase, which is subject only to
normal contract conditions, is expected on 4 August 1999 and
will be funded from existing bank facilities.

The Covent Garden properties comprise the freeholds of 29/39
Monmouth Street, 3,4,5 & 11/13 Neals Yard and 5/13 Shorts
Gardens, WC2 and the long leasehold interest in the basement
and ground floors of 27/29 Shorts Gardens, WC2.  These
properties contain eleven shops and restaurants (14,000 sq.
ft.) offices (11,500 sq.ft.) and 21 flats, which have been
sold on long leases.

In Soho the acquisition includes the freeholds of principally
restaurants and offices at 69/70 Dean Street (14,000 sq. ft)
75 Dean Street (14,500 sq. ft.) and 14/16 Brewer Street, W1
(2,750 sq. ft.).

The current net income from the properties is approximately
£1.23m p.a.

Commenting on the transaction, Peter Levy, Chairman said 'The
Covent Garden properties complement purchases we have made
over the past year and, in particular, the acquisition of The
Thomas Neal Centre in March 1999.  They offer interesting
opportunities to improve both income and capital values.  The
Soho properties also offer a number of options, which we
intend to explore in order to maximise their potential value
to Shaftesbury.'

For further information, please contact, Peter Levy, Brian
Bickell or Tom Welton at Shaftesbury PLC Tel:  0171 333 8118.


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