Erinaceous, the AIM-listed property services firm, is no longer in talks to sell itself.
In a statement to the London Stock Exchange today, the firm blamed the crisis in global credit markets for the decision to abort the sales process.
It said: ‘Management explored the options with a number of interested parties but have today concluded, particularly in the light of recent global credit markets, that the interests of the shareholders and the company are best served by terminating the discussions. None of the discussions progressed to the point of due diligence.’
Erinaceous was the subject of a takeover approach from several parties, including HBOS, which is understood to have made an offer of 300p a share, valuing the company at £320m. However, it walked away from talks last week.
Private equity firms 3i and Bridgepoint were rumoured to also be eyeing the firm along with property tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz.
Erinaceous’s share price fell by 7% immediately after the announcement to 115p. In the past month, more than a 1/3 of the company’s share price has been wiped off, falling from 220p.
The statement added: ‘The company’s focus remains on integration of acquired businesses, cost reduction, organic growth and the continued development of cross-selling.
‘The company’s long-term growth strategy of building a comprehensive range of property services will continue. The board is confident that the outturn for the year will be in line with market expectations, underpinned by a strong increase in profits in the second half from property transactions project managed by the company.’