Broker tells Kepit shareholders to sell

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The Independent Online
The increasingly bitter battle for control of the pounds 500m Kleinwort Benson European Privatisation Investment Trust (Kepit) took another twist yesterday as NatWest Stockbrokers advised its clients to ignore rival bids and dispose of their holdings.

The advice came as the directors of Kepit rowed with rival bidders TR European Growth (Treg) over a valuation of 101.5p placed on Kepit shares.

Treg's costing of its offer to Kepit's 65,000 shareholders followed the passing of its deadline for acceptances of its offer. A second deadline has now been set for 3pm on 4 October.

Treg claimed yesterday that it was able to be almost certain of its price for each share and attached warrant, issued at 100p, because it had struck an exclusive deal with a trader at less than half the price normally charged for programmed trades. Its claim was challenged by Kepit, which demanded further details.

Kepit is backing a joint deal between Kleinwort Benson and M&G, giving shareholders a choice between a new European privatisation unit trust, run by Kleinwort Benson; an existing M&G European and General Fund; or units in a new Kleinwort Benson Money Market Trust, which could be instantly redeemed for cash.

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