Minerva receives £258m offer from Limitless

Limitless, the property development arm of Dubai World, has made a bid for the London-based property company Minerva, which Minerva says it expects to recommend to shareholders.

Minerva confirmed yesterday it had received a 160 pence-per-share takeover offer from the development arm of Dubai World, Limitless.

Though the £258 million (€324 million; $515 million) bid has been described as final by Limitless, the investor could yet increase its offer if there were rival bids. Minerva, however, said in a statement that Limitless could also reduce its price if the the London based property company pays any dividend to its shareholders.

The offer is subject to a number of waivable pre-conditions, including completion of satisfactory due diligence, and a Minerva board recommendation, according to the firm. On the latter point, such a recommendation seems likely. Minerva added in the statement: “To the extent that this proposal results in the announcement of a firm intention to make an offer under Rule 2.5 of the Takeover Code, and subject to reaching agreement on all other terms, the board of Minerva would expect to recommend such an offer.”

Limitless first indicated its interest to buy the UK group in May this year. Minerva owns three big development projects at varying stages of development in London, including St. Botolphs and The Walbrook in the city’s financial center, and the shopping scheme, Park Place in Croydon, a south London borough.

Other schemes are located in central London, including Kensington High Street, Lancaster Gate, and Leinster House in the West End, and the Ram Brewery in Wandsworth, south west London. The group owns a number of investment properties, three of which are in Scotland.

Over the past 12 months, shares in Minerva have fallen from above 300p to below 70p. Like many UK property companies, Minerva ‘s share price has been severely hit by the property slump.  Following yesterday’s offer, Minerva’s stock price increased 50 percent to 123p as the market drew to a close in London.