David Tye and Andrew Wilson, the chairman and chief executive of listed property group Rugby Estates, are wooing leading shareholders over a plan to raise £100m in fresh equity.

The duo met Laxey Partners, the biggest shareholder, on Friday to seek approval for the equity proposal, which would buy commercial properties cheaply as the credit crunch worsens.

Rugby Estates, which owns a 6.5% stake in a vehicle that owns £195m of shops and offices in London's West End, has hired a leading investment bank to draw up a list of up to 10 rich individuals and funds who might agree to joint venture on deals.

Tye said that his motives were similar to Chelsfield, the property company run by Sir Stuart Lipton and Elliot Bernerd, when they sold a 20% stake to the Qatari Investment Authority last month in order to finance deals as prices fell. 'I want a relationship with someone that will give us buy power,' he said.

independent on Sunday, The Times