Bloomberg News

Battersea Power Station Put Into Administration by London Judge

December 13, 2011

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The owner of Battersea Power Station, the London landmark idled for the past 28 years, was put into administration by a U.K. judge after its owners failed to repay senior lenders owed more than 500 million pounds ($781 million).

Judge Geoffrey Charles Vos in London today granted a request by creditors led by Lloyds Banking Group Plc and Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency to appoint an administrator to sell the site. The creditors will try to recover the entire 502 million pounds owed by the project’s owners by selling the site or the debt, two people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.

Ernst & Young was appointed as the administrator for investment companies of Real Estate Opportunities Plc including REO Power Station Ltd. and REO Site Assembly Ltd.

The 38-acre (15-hectare) site was valued at 500 million pounds, controlling shareholder Real Estate Opportunities said on Oct. 26. REO was given planning consent a year ago for a 5.5 billion-pound redevelopment of the site, which is 2.2 miles (3.5 kilometers) by car from the Houses of Parliament. Existing plans include a commitment to contribute more than 200 million pounds toward extending a London Underground subway line.

On Nov. 29, the creditors called in loans to the project’s owner, Battersea Power Station Shareholder Vehicle Ltd. REO said the next day that it was still in talks to sell its 54 percent stake. It didn’t identify the potential buyers. Chelsea Football Club Ltd., owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, hired developer Almacantar SA to help it find a place for a new stadium and said one of the options was at the Battersea site.

Battersea Power Station, featured on the cover of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album “Animals,” was designed by Giles Gilbert- Scott, who also devised the red public telephone box, and built in two stages, according to its website. The plant supplied a fifth of London’s electricity in the early 1950s, according to the Battersea Power Station Community Group website.

--Editors: Jeff St.Onge, Ross Larsen.

To contact the reporter on this story: Neil Callanan in London at ncallanan@bloomberg.net; Simon Packard in London at packard@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net.


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