27 January 2004 – Evening Standard
A £1.9 BILLION deal to take White City developer Chelsfield private will make billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben the biggest owners in the new company after a £146.4 million investment.
Chelsfield chairman Elliott Bernerd’s long-awaited recommended offer for the property company he founded raises the bid to 320p per share largely in cash, but he and other key shareholders take a cut in price to push the deal through.
Two earlier bids at 305p per share were rejected as too low by Chelsfield’s independent directors.
The arrangement means Bernerd effectively takes £3.4 million less than if he had accepted the terms on offer to institutional shareholders, but he makes about £40 million in cash from selling about 45% of his 12% family stake in the firm.
Bernerd said: “I will still be one of the largest shareholders in the new firm and will carry on as chairman. The cash is being used for my own family matters.”
Taking into account the price cut, the deal values the firm at £895.5 million and will assume £968.7 million of dept.
Bernerd will end up with 11.9% of the new private company, currently named Duelguide. He will rank behind the Reuben brothers, the British property investor tax exiles. The brothers’ Aldersgate Investments vehicle is investing £140million and underwriting around £6.4 million of the small share component part of the deal, in return for a 35.4% holding in the new firm. HBOS, the bank leading the debt finance, will take a 13.1% shareholding after investing via its private equity arm.