Chelsfield aims for better Bernerd offer

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The Independent Online

Elliot Bernerd, the property tycoon, is holding talks with the independent directors of Chelsfield, the UK commercial property group which he chairs, over his plans for a revised takeover bid for the company.

A statement from the group yesterday said a process put in place to evaluate rival offers for the business had failed to reap any substantive proposals, leaving Mr Bernerd as the only potential bidder.

However, Chelsfield said it was rejecting Mr Bernerd's offer of 305p a share in cash, which valued the group at £860m. The company added it was still in talks with Mr Bernerd and his bidding consortium with a view to securing a more attractive offer for Chelsfield shareholders.

Mr Bernerd owns about 12 per cent of Chelsfield and has the backing of investors representing about 30 per cent of the group's share capital. He declared his interest in buying out the firm in September.

"The proposal put forward by the consortium, involving an offer of 305p in cash per Chelsfield share, has been rejected by the independent directors as they believe that it may not fully reflect the long-term value of Chelsfield," said the company.

Chelsfield shares closed last night at 310p, valuing the business at £875m.