The development arm of the Dubai government has launched a takeover approach for Minerva, concluding months of speculation about the future of the London developer. Financial Times, The Times, Independent

Limitless, the property development business of state-owned Dubai World, was yesterday forced to admit that it was considering a takeover bid for Minerva.

Shares in Minerva closed the day’s trading up 16p at 116.8p, adding to gains earlier this week as news of sovereign wealth interest in the company leaked into the market.

Limitless is the first body to attach itself publicly to Minerva, although other suitors are known to have looked at the developer in the past few months, including New York real-estate investor LeFrak.

Bankers yesterday talked about a bid of more than 160p, valuing the company at more than £270m, a premium to yesterday’s share price but much less than the 426p the company was trading at this time last year.

Limitless has not taken its stake above 3%, however, and was not expecting to reveal its intentions publicly this early. No formal talks have started, and it stressed that 'it is in the very preliminary stages of considering its options'.