Irish firm bids for Trafford Park Estates

GREEN PROPERTY, an Irish company, said it offered to buy Trafford Park Estates for pounds 146m in stock by exchanging 46 Green shares for each 100 Trafford shares held.

The offer of approximately 212p a share represents a premium of 33 per cent over Trafford's 159.5p closing price on 12 May, the last business day before Green's approach was made public. The board of Trafford said it was considering the offer and advised shareholders to take no action pending its recommendation.

"The acquisition of Trafford Park Estates is in line with our strategy to increase our industrial holdings in the UK," said Stephen Vernon, Green Property's managing director.

Last week Trafford said it will delay for two weeks a shareholders' vote on its bid for Barlows, a property developer in the North-west, to allow time to assess whether Trafford itself should be sold. Earlier this month Green offered to buy Trafford Park for pounds 126m to pounds 139m on condition Trafford's bid for Barlows is called off.

Trafford rejected Green's earlier offer, saying it was too low but has since postponed the shareholders' vote on the bid for Barlows until 29 May.

Green is also offering a cash alternative to Trafford shareholders of 190p for each Trafford Park share held. Trafford Park shares rose 11.5p, or 6.4 per cent, to 191p, having climbed from 159.5p on 12 May. Trafford Park, with the approval of Barlows' board, had offered to pay one of its shares for every 2.61971 Barlows shares held, valuing the company at pounds 26.7m. The valuation took place before Trafford Park shares jumped due to Green's bid. Trafford Park holds industrial property in Manchester and other centres in the UK, in addition to several development sites.

- Bloomberg