Dubai group pulls out of Minerva talks
London, September 26, 2008
Shares in UK property firm Minerva tanked 47 per cent on Friday after it announced that sovereign wealth fund suitor Limitless had withdrawn its 160-pence a share offer.
Limitless, a unit of state-owned investment fund Dubai World, said it had failed to secure necessary consents from unspecified third parties, forcing it to pull out of talks.
Minerva shares were trading at 42.5 pence by 1058 GMT, versus a 1.2 percent dip in broader real estate stocks as measured by the FTSE 350 Real Estate Index .
News of the breakdown in takeover talks is expected to raise questions about Minerva's ability to proceed with an ambitious office development pipeline in London's City financial district but a source familiar with the deal urged investors against writing off the company prematurely.
'Yes, the share price has taken quite a hit as a result of this but it it is important to remember that this was an unsolicited bid - they were not looking to sell themselves,' the source said.
'As a company they have carried on with their day-to-day business during this process, their developments are all fully financed and they remain confident that their projects will be delivered into a supply-constrained market,' said the source.
Minerava declined comment.-Reuters