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Takeover reaps pounds 27m tax boost

RESIDENTIAL property company Gander Holdings yesterday said that it had agreed to be taken over by Anagen, a shell company, in a deal which will reap tax advantages of over pounds 27m, writes Simon Duke.

Anagen, a now-defunct biotechnology company, has applied for a listing on the London Stock Exchange, and will offer 512 million new shares to Gander stockholders on a one-for-one basis. The offer will lead to a capital gains loss of pounds 27m for the new entity, to be named Gander Properties, which will then be used to write off future taxable gains on property sales.

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of January, when the present board of Anagen, who will retain 2.8 per cent of the new shares, will step down in favour of Gander's present management.

Gander, whose speciality is developing residential properties in Kensington and Chelsea, London, which it either sells or rents out, has a market capitalisation of around pounds 35m at Wednesday's closing price of 6.75p, just over half of the net value of its property portfolio.

In October, Gander said that it expected to report losses in the years to January 1999 and 2000, as a result of the September acquisition of Barrasford Holdings, a loss-making property company.