Persimmon poised to raise Beazer bid

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The Independent Online

Persimmon, the housebuilder, is expected to formally bid about £540m for Beazer today, with more cash on offer than last week's indicative approach, in a deal that would create Britain's biggest housebuilder.

Persimmon, the housebuilder, is expected to formally bid about £540m for Beazer today, with more cash on offer than last week's indicative approach, in a deal that would create Britain's biggest housebuilder.

It is thought it will offer some 188p a share, of which 109p will be in cash, along with 0.31 Persimmon shares for each Beazer share. The offer also comes with dividend, unlike last week's informal offer, and this is worth about 2.5p a share extra.

Persimmon will again seek a recommendation and is confident of receiving it. However, it has not ruled out the possibility of a hostile bid.

The move compares with last week's informal approach, which proposed an offer of 92.5p in cash and 0.349 Persimmon shares for each Beazer share. At last night's closing price of 256p for Persimmon, the old terms would have been worth 182p a share or £520m.

A tie-up between the two housebuilders would bring to an end a short but intensive bid battle that has enlivened the sector. Last month, Beazer announced a nil-premium merger with Bryant. However, that deal was scuppered when Taylor Woodrow declared its interest in Bryant, which it agreed to acquire on Monday for £535m.

Persimmon is attracted to Beazer's large landbank and its upmarket Charles Church brand. Beazer has hinted that other companies may be interested in making a bid but it is thought that other predators will only declare their interest if the Persimmon deal falls apart.

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