Mapeley suffered a plunge in its share price on today, as investors feared its proposed takeover would be abandoned.
Investors reacted nervously after Mapeley failed to update the market on the progress of the takeover approach announced in February. In the wake of JP Morgan Chase’s emergency takeover of Bear Stearns, Mapeley’s shares were marked down by 7% to 1,643p.
Mapeley said: ‘The discussions referred to in that announcement [of 26 February ] are ongoing; however, there can be no certainty that any offer will be made or as to its terms.’
The offer is from Fortress, the US investment group which already owns about 50% of Mapeley. The offer is thought to be at around £19 a share.
Shares were down as much as 18% as the company also revealed mixed full-year results for 2007, but chief executive Jamie Hopkins reassured investors that there was no pressure on the company’s loan-to-value covenants in a conference call this afternoon.
On Friday the company revealed that it had successfully refinanced its £257m revolving debt facility falling due in April.
It said that this had been replaced by two new facilities; a £152m loan with a seven-year term, at a hedged interest rate of 6.65% and a £60m corporate loan facility falling due in April 2009. The balance of the original loan was paid down with cash.
The company’s overall debt now has an average interest rate of 5.7% on its £1.45bn of debt, and an overall loan to value of 69%.
Mapeley saw funds from operations, its key performance indicator and the US measure of cashflow, leap 23% to £56m.
However, it also saw the net asset value of the properties it owns decrease by 23% to £18.62 a share. Most of this decrease came in the fourth quarter, when the company’s NAV fell 18%.
The value of the company’s portfolio fell 4% from £2.2bn to £2.1bn in the fourth quarter of last year. On a like for like basis, the portfolio fell 5% to £1.9bn in 2007.