Sheafbank shares suspended at 27p

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SHARES in Sheafbank, the property company, were suspended yesterday at 27p, pending approval of a proposed acquisition, share placing and name change, writes Tom Stevenson.

David Gradel, chairman, said the company would buy the outstanding 50 per cent of a joint venture it set up in 1989 with the UK pension fund of Philips, the Dutch electronics company.

The pounds 4.29m acquisition of five properties in the North-west will be funded by an pounds 8.1m placing of 35 million shares at 25.75p, which will represent 67 per cent of the enlarged equity. A one-for-three clawback allows existing shareholders to apply for 6.6 million of the shares. Because of the size of the deal, which is deemed to be a reverse takeover, the shares will remain suspended until shareholder approval is gained on 21 March. On completion the company will change its name to UK Estates.

The enlarged portfolio, worth pounds 33m compared with pounds 11m before the acquisition, will be managed by David Ormerod, former managing director of Legal & General's property arm. Sheafbank also announced an interim pre-tax loss for the six months to December of pounds 283,000 compared with a pounds 191,000 loss in 1992. There was no dividend. A planned capital reduction will allow payments to be resumed.