AIM-listed property group Erinaceous today confirmed that it has received an indicative takeover offer.

It is thought that the offer is from UK bank HBOS. The offer is thought to be 300p a share, which would value the company at £320m. It is thought that HBOS is currently undertaking due diligence before finalising the offer.

In a statement at the company’s AGM, chairman Nigel Turnbull said: 'As the group announced in April we have received preliminary approaches which may or may not lead to an offer being made for the group. The directors believe that it is in the interest of shareholders for these approaches to be explored. Discussions are ongoing and a further announcement will be made in due course.’

Erinaceous shares jumped more than 14% to 253p on opening amidst speculation regarding the takeover.

Last week, HBOS confirmed that it is examining the possibility of making a bid for regeneration specialist Quintain after buying up a 13% stake in the company.

It is thought that HBOS would focus on creating a better fir between the various companies that make up the Erinaceous group. The group has been highly acquisitive over the last two years, buying up several property service firms. Most recently, it is in talks with Leeds based property services and auction firm Eddisons over a £10m acquisition (news, 20.07.07).

The company faced fresh woe this week when the judgement of a case relating to overvaluations on properties was made public Erinaceous had previously settled out of court regarding overvaluations allegedly made by Ian McGarry, the former director of subsidiary Dunlop Haywards, but in his judgement of a £26m claim brought by Nationwide Building Society Judge Simons branded the company ‘at least reckless with the truth’.

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