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Business News

DTZ looks for options as SGP walks away

DTZ is on the lookout for fresh strategic options – including raising equity and finding a new suitor – after its biggest shareholder pulled out of a planned takeover of the property consultant.

DTZ's chief executive, John Forrester, said the withdrawal of Saint George Participations (SGP) was a relief after five months that disrupted the business. "It was a situation that was unhelpful to be in and is helpful to be out of. Today has been a good day because it provides clarity for our staff and clients."

The deal would have seen France's SGP take the company private and then merge it with the real estate arm of BNP Paribas, the French bank. The takeover fell apart amid fears about the strength of French banks to withstand the eurozone debt crisis.

Under takeover rules, SGP had until yesterday to make an offer for the 45 per cent of the shares it did not own. Mr Forrester said options for strengthening DTZ included a rights issue to cut its debt, which was £64m at the end of April, and listening to other potential bidders.

DTZ has been through a rocky few months in which it also lost its former chief executive, Paul Idzik, and finance director Robert Rickert.

The company's shares have more than halved since hitting 51p when SGP's interest was announced in May. They closed down 13 per cent at 23.75p.