Aberdeen trumped in Norgani bidding

The battle between Aberdeen and Norwegian Property has taken another turn as the Norwegian company maneuvers to block Abderdeen’s acquisition.

Aberdeen Property Investors, the Sweden-based property division of British investor Aberdeen Asset Management, has been outbid by its rival in an attempt to acquire a Norwegian hotel group.

After being beat by Aberdeen’s August bid of Nkr88.5 ($15.71) per share in August, real estate company Norwegian Property has undertaken a series of steps to block Aberdeen’s bid and submit a competing bid of Nkr91 ($16.12) per share, valuing the company at about Nkr3.6 billion ($638 million).

Norwegian Property was successful in getting tenant Scandic Hotels to raise its lease payments in an apparent move to prevent Aberdeen from entering the active Norwegian hotels market. Scandic Hotels accounts for about 60 per cent of Norgani Hotels’ rental income. It then formed Oslo Properties, a single purpose company with Norwegian Property, Scandic Hotels and several financial investors as its shareholders, to make the competing bid.

Aberdeen said on Monday that it would extend the duration of its offer and may raise it.

However it may be an uphill battle. Oslo Properties now owns 13.2 percent of Norgani Hotels and has received pre-acceptance of about 47 percent of the shares — giving it control of about 60 percent of Norgani shares. On Tuesday Norgani’s board of directors said the offer fell within the value range which the board had previously considered to be a fair value of the stock.

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