Picture: James White
CAPE TOWN - Capital & Counties Properties (Capco) said yesterday that its managing director and chief investment officer Gary Yardley would step down from the board and leave the company at the end of the month. 

This as the group gave further indication that it was proceeding with a demerger. Yardley’s roles would not currently be replaced on the board of the investment group that focuses mainly on property in central London. Yardley said in a statement yesterday that he was taking “time out to focus on my other interests and improving my health”. 

The group said preparations were advancing “for a possible demerger”. The Earls Court investment would be led by Mike Hood, the group development director, who was appointed as managing director, Earls Court, the statement said. Capco last year announced that it was thinking of demerging Earls Court from its other holdings in Covent Garden. At the end of last month, Capco’s stake in Earls Court was valued at £412million (R7.56billion), a 10.5percent lower figure than a valuation just three months before. 

The values of many high-end London properties have fallen in recent times due to Brexit uncertainty, structural changes in the retail store market and increasing online competition. 

“Mike joined the company in 2011, has operational responsibility for Earls Court, including the development management activities of the ventures with TfL, KFI and Network Rail, and has successfully delivered a number of significant projects, including Lillie Square,” Yardley said. “Capco is a special company. I am proud of the success we have achieved and in particular of the exciting and unique opportunity we have created at Earls Court,” he said. Chairperson Henry Staunton said Yardley had made a big contribution to creating “one of the most important development opportunities in London”.