When is a purchase not a purchase? When it’s a sale...

As corrections to press releases go, Standard Life Investments Property Income Trust’s stock market announcement last Friday will probably have led to a few red faces.

Two hours after announcing the purchase of a small industrial unit in Cheltenham for £2.2m, the company issued an updated version of the release with one crucial change.

It turned out the purchase wasn’t a purchase at all. It was a sale. Standard Life Investments had sold the industrial unit to the tenant.

Shareholders were no doubt relieved as the comments from fund manager Jason Baggaley suggested that the property didn’t exactly have the hallmarks of a great investment opportunity. “It was a very old unit that was of limited demand to other users,” he said.

Indeed, Baggaley sounded glad to be shot of it, especially as the price was 8% above the latest valuation.

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