Pressure builds over Canary Wharf bidding

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The Independent Online

Canary Wharf is under increasing pressure to name a preferred bidder in the battle for control of the property company as the offer stakes were raised this week.

The company is due to announce preliminary results on Thursday next week, and a number of its shareholders are demanding to hear that the takeover talks have progressed. It is thought the company may announce a preferred bidder or recommendation next week.

The bidding saga, which began in June, stepped up a gear this week whenMorgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs upped their bid. It is thought they are now offering close to 300p a share.

Paul Reichmann, the executive chairman of Canary Wharf with a 7.7 per cent stake, is yet to declare his hand. He may yet come in with an offer to rival that of the Morgan Stanley consortium and Brascan, the Canadian power and property giant understood to be the second bidder. He may, however, decide to throw his lot in with one of the camps.

"Mr Reichmann has not yet made a decision on what action he will take," a spokesman for the 73-year-old yesterday said. It is understood that Mr Reichmann will want to wait until the board makes a recommendation before making any move.