Aberdeen rejects pounds 42m takeover

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ABERDEEN EUROPEAN Investment Trust yesterday advised shareholders to reject the pounds 42m takeover offer from Gartmore European trust after failing to win improved terms.

Instead, AEIT is offering holders of shares and warrants the choice of having their holdings cashed or switched into a unit trust run by Aberdeen Asset Managers. Shareholders who accepted the board's proposal to liquidate and unitise the trust would receive 97.6 per cent of the net asset value of the trust, compared with the Gartmore offer of cash worth 93.3 per cent of NAV or shares worth 95.2 per cent, the AEIT board claims.

It would, however, take two months to implement the scheme. Offering AEIT shareholders a cash alternative would also require the trust's assets to be sold rather than transferred to a unit trust, with the resulting risk of depressing the value obtained from the unitisation.