Brownfield regeneration specialist St Modwen Properties (SMP) gained 18.8% to 531.5p on news of a 542p bid from private equity firm Blackstone.
The bid is pitched at a 21% premium to the previous close and the board of St Modwen has indicated to Blackstone that the possible offer is at a value the board would be willing to recommend unanimously.
The possible offer is subject to a number of pre-conditions, including the satisfactory completion of confirmatory due diligence which is currently underway by Blackstone. A further announcement is set to be made in due course.
‘UK COMPANIES GOING CHEAP’
AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould notes the 21% premium offered for St Modwen is below the average 38% premium on successful and pending bids over the last six months.
He says: ‘The number of bids, and the premium, suggests that someone, somewhere – be they trade or financial buyers – feel UK companies are still going cheap, with overseas buyers potentially attracted by how the pound still stands below the levels reached just ahead of the Brexit vote five years ago.’
He adds: ‘St Modwen’s focus on logistics sites and housebuilding, with a strong pipeline of developments, also means its business profile fits the bill for private equity. In addition, the company’s NAV per share figure at the last count was 428p and the shares have consistently traded at a discount to that figure over the past year.’