Brascan tables offer for Canary Wharf

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Canary Wharf is expected to make a statement today on bid interest in the company after it received a second offer, from Brascan, a Canadian property developer.

A consortium of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs put in a cash and paper offer, thought to be worth 250p a share or £1.5bn, earlier this week. By yesterday, Brascan had also put in a bid.

Last night the independent directors of Canary Wharf, the company behind the giant Docklands office development, were considering the two offers. A statement from the independent committee, which is led by Sir Martin Jacomb, is expected today.

It is also possible that Paul Reichmann, the executive chairman of Canary Wharf, will try to beat any bid which is recommended by the committee. Mr Reichmann, a 7 per cent shareholder, has put together his own consortium, although he has made it clear he would prefer Canary Wharf to reject the MorganStanley/Goldman and Brascan approaches.

Mr Reichmann has not bid and will only consider doing so if the company looks set to fall to another buyer. Some have accused him of trying to "frustrate" any takeover of Canary Wharf.

There is speculation that Brascan has offered more cash than the Morgan Stanley/Goldman team, which is thought to have included 220p-a-share cash in its proposal.

Canary Wharf's independent directors and Mr Reichmann have pointed to a fair value for the company of up to 300p a share but neither of the two confirmed bidders is thought to have got close to that level. Canary Wharf shares closed up 2.75p at 230.25p, as the market continued to question whether the company's board would recommend either of the offers received.

Other potential bidders have been put off by the property company's unusually high gearing levels and the nature of some of its tenancy agreements.

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