Shares in listed developer Minerva fell 33% to 52p this morning after Limitless withdrew its prospective takeover offer.

The development arm of the Dubai World sovereign wealth fund told the London Stock Exchange this morning that it had withdrawn its 160p-a-share offer.

‘On 17 September 2008, Minerva announced that negotiations between the parties were ongoing and that Limitless required third party consents as a waivable pre-condition to an announcement of an offer for Minerva,’ Limitless said.

‘As a result of being unable to obtain the necessary consents on terms satisfactory to Limitless, Limitless announces that it no longer intends to make an offer for Minerva.’

Bank renegotiations

It is thought that Minerva’s lenders were seeking to use the possible change of control to renegotiate debt facilities they had extended to the company and secure improved terms for themselves.

In its results last week, Minerva said that it did not require the takeover to go ahead in order to carry on as a going concern, and that although its City of London office schemes, Croydon retail scheme and residential schemes were not income producing, it had cash reserves of £117m to carry on paying interest.

In a recent note, Lehman Brothers property analyst Mike Prew put a target price of 50p on Minerva if the takeover did not occur, whereas Cazenove’s property analyst team said a price of 80p or higher was sustainable even if the takeover was pulled.

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