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Farsons to create a property-focused plc 30/05/2015

Farsons to create a property-focused plc

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc is planning to hive off its property investments that are not directly related to its core food and beverage business into a separate public company to be quoted on the Malta Stock Exchange.

The new plc is scheduled to be set up in 2017 and will own properties including the brewery façade, ‘Trident House’ site at Marsa, the properties housing the franchised food businesses, and the properties being leased out to third parties.

Speaking during a review meeting with stockbrokers and financial analysts about the recently announced financial results, the group’s chairman Mr Louis A Farrugia said that the restructuring objective is to ensure the best use of the group’s property portfolio with a view to maximise shareholder value.

The plan is for the food and beverage business to retain its core operational property assets such as the land and buildings at Mrieħel, the iconic old brewhouse (*), and other properties currently being used by the business.

Mr Farrugia stated that full development applications including detailed designs for Farsons Business Park were submitted to MEPA this week. The project is being designed by an international firm of architects, Ian Ritchie Architects Ltd, with the support of Maltese based engineers, TBA Periti, and assisted by a multi-disciplinary team of Maltese and international experts.

Professor Ian Ritchie CBE RA, who also addressed the meeting, explained that the objective is to rehabilitate the listed grade 2 old Mrieħel brewery including the old brewhouse, boardroom, entrance and façade. Intersected by courtyards and generous gardens, the Farsons Business Park will include a 700 space multi-level carpark, while the site boundary wall will be removed so that the precincts will be accessible to the public.

The project is planned to commence in mid-2016 and will be completed by end 2020. When completed, this project is expected to result in an investment of the Group of over €40 million and will boast over 18,000 square metres of offices, more than 1,200 square metres of food and beverage areas, 800 square metres of a beer academy, visitor’s attraction and also a unique ‘Cisk Sky Bar’.

A presentation on the Farsons Business Park and the proposed restructuring will be delivered to shareholders during the forthcoming annual general meeting next month.