Spazio receives €124m Laxey bid

Laxey Partners, the London-based activist shareholder which recently made the headlines for trying to oust board members of AIM-listed Indian property company Hirco, is attempting to take control of Italian industrial property company Spazio.

AiM-listed Italian industrial property company Spazio Investment has received a €124 million approach by its largest shareholder Laxey Partners, to buy the company.

The Dutch holding company, externally managed by Milan-based Pirelli Real Estate, said in a statement the offer of €4.50 a share “materially undervalued” it.

At the end of 2008 Spazio’s portfolio was valued at €730.6 million and its net asset value was €13.60 a share. Based on that net asset value, Laxey’s proposal would have reflected a 67 percent discount.

Laxey Partners made its bid through its Terra Catalyst Fund, one of two AiM-listed opportunity vehicles it manages which invest in real estate shares. Laxey is the biggest shareholder in Spazio, controlling 21.76 percent of the shares, as of 3 April. Shares in Spazio rose by 8 percent to €4.20 following the news of the bid.

The firm had been seeking ways to improve its financial position and Terra Catalyst last September prompted Spazio to sell up to €450 million in assets before December 2010. At that time, Terra Catalyst controlled only 7.9 percent of Spazio’s shares.

Laxey most recently made the headlines when it attempted to oust key board members of AiM-listed Indian property company Hirco. This attempt failed however as major shareholder Standard Life Investments came out in favour of the board.