Property Week - December 4, 2009
Minerva is in talks to sell its head office in London’s West End for around £41m to Standard Life Investments
The company plans to lease back the offices at 42 Wigmore Street, north of Oxford Street. The neighbouring 5 Welbeck Street, which is included in the sale, is let to government department the Rent Service.
On Wednesday the London developer urged shareholders to reject an £84.5m offer from South African entrepreneur Nathan Kirsh, calling it “opportunistic” and “wholly inadequate”.
Minerva’s response circular to shareholders showed its portfolio was valued at around £1bn at the end of November, lifting its net asset value to 95p a share — nearly double the 50p-a-share bid.
The £1bn valuation from CB Richard Ellis reflected net growth of £93m since the end of June, equivalent to an increase of 10% in five months.
Minerva’s shares rose 12.7% to 62p on Wednesday, valuing the company at £100m.
“What is particularly opportunistic about the timing of this bid is that it comes after we have done the hard yards and just as we are beginning to see the turn,” chief executive Salmaan Hasan told a conference call.
“We are not going to give away Minerva, having done all the work, just as the market improves in the shareholders’ favour.”
Kirsh and entities related to his KiFin investment vehicle own a 29.9% stake in Minerva.
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