Aberdeen makes $612m bid for Norgani Hotels

The firm has opened a bidding war with rival property company Norwegian Properties.

Aberdeen Property Investors has made a 3.5 billion Norwegian crown ($612 million, €442 million) offer for Norgani Hotels, a Norwegian hotel property company with a portfolio of 70 hotel properties throughout the Nordic countries.

The offer, at NOK88.50 per share, trumps the recent offer of NOK82.50 per share made by property company Norwegian Properties in August.

In a statement released on Tuesday Norgani Hotels said that its board of directors and management have decided to recommend shareholders accept the Aberdeen offer, which represents a premium of 30 percent from the closing price prior to Norwegian property’s offer on August 13.

Norgani Hotels is Europe’s fifth largest hotel property investor and is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Norwegian real estate tycoon Petter Stordalen said Tuesday that if the Aberdeen offer is accepted his company Home Properties would buy five hotels in Finland and one hotel in Oslo from Norgani for 2.4 billion crowns ($422 million, €306 million).

Analysts were predicting that it is very likely Norwegian Property will increase its offer in light of the rival bid. SEB Enskilda analyst Ketil Skjak told local business daily Dagens Naeringsliv on Tuesday that the firm is likely to increase its bid if it can secure the necessary debt financing. The company’s current bid bid expires on September 12, and its investment director said it has not yet decided on whether to issue a new bid.

Aberdeen Property Investors has both a dedicated Norwegian fund and a pan-Nordic fund from which to make the investment. The firm is the Stockholm-based property investment arm of the Scottish group Aberdeen Asset Management, and has more then €12 billion invested on behalf of its institutional clients. Its parent is quoted on the London Stock Exchange and has more than €100 billion in assets around the world.