01 August 2006 – Evening Standard
The Reuben Brothers and Sir Tom Hunter finally broke cover today with a bid for McCarthy & Stone that values Britain’s biggest retirement homes builder at £1.1bn.
After weeks of tentative approaches to the McCarthy board, billionaire property investors David and Simon Reuben and Hunter, one of Scotland’s richest retail entrepreneurs, have offered 1075p a share for the housebuilder via a consortium heavily backed by Bank of Scotland.
But investors still hope for another rise in the take-out price for McCarthy, whose board, headed by Keith Lovelock, was still recommending a 1030p a share offer led by private equity giant Permira with backing from the principal finance arm of Barclays Capital.
McCarthy shares raced up 18p to 1094p today, valuing the Bournmouthbased builder at £1.125bn.
The Reubens and Hunter team – Mother Bidco – has already swept up 4.7% of McCarthy’s shares at 1060p each since the close of trading on Friday in an effort to thwart the rival Mars Bidco team.
Only yesterday the Mars team told McCarthy shareholders they had set a 23 August date to vote through their offer. Their bid is structured as a scheme of arrangement and is easier to block than a conventional offer because it requires 75% approval from investors.
McCarthy has agreed to pay Mars a £10m break fee, worth about 10p a share, if it runs with a rival offer. The Reuben brothers are flush with cash after their £110m sale in June of a 50% stake in the 180-acre Olympic City site at Stratford, where they are thought to have made a massive profit in only two years of ownership.