Birmingham-based property entrepreneur Paul Bassi has raised his stake in AIM-listed investment vehicle Real Estate Investors, increasing speculation that he will take it private.

Bassi, chief executive of Real Estate Investors, has bought a further 1m shares at 4p a share, taking his personal interest in the company to 24.48% of the issued share capital.

Taking into account the shares of other investors who bought into Real Estate Investors when Bassi was appointed a director of the company, the group now has an aggregate interest of 29.06% - less than 1% away from the 30% limit which would trigger a compulsory requirement to make a full offer.

It is expected that any offer would be at a premium to the existing share price which is below Real Estate Investors’ net assets of 7.7p a share.

Real Estate Investors has £14m of cash and £49m of assets, and agreed bank facilities.

Bassi declined to comment.