Listed developer Minerva revealed a 33% drop in net asset value this morning, as the turmoil in the market affected the value of its City office, retail and residential schemes.
In results for the year to 30 June Minerva reassured the market on its cash position, saying reserves had risen from £110m at the half year to £117m, following the refinancing of the development facility on the St Botolphs City office scheme.
‘We have a strong balance sheet and plenty of cash reserves,’ Minerva chief executive Salmaan Hasan said.
‘The Walbrook City office scheme is on schedule for completion at the end of 2009 and St Botolphs for autumn 2010, and we think that with other developers shelving their plans there will not be an oversupply of spec development and this strengthens our position.’
Shares rose 11% to 78p in early trading, with Minerva also saying that it was in talks with potential joint venture partners at its Park Place retail development scheme in Croydon, following the withdrawal of Lend Lease early this year.
However, 77p is still well short of the 160p proposal made by Limitless, the development arm of the Dubai World sovereign wealth fund, indicating the market is still betting the deal won’t go through.
Minerva said that Limitless had substantially completed its due diligence, but that ‘Limitless requires consents from third parties which are a waivable pre-condition to an announcement of an offer’.
It is thought that Minerva’s lenders may be seeking to renegotiate their loan facilities and agree different terms following a change of control.