Minerva has drawn up a shortlist of five bidders for the company, with at least one offer reported to be over 300p per share.
The shortlist is believed to include a partnership between Tishman Speyer and Westfield; Hines; a group of Russian investors and two unknown private consortia. Tishman Speyer and Westfield are thought to have bid around 270p for the company.
The US group, Blackstone, is not thought to be on the shortlist and it is unclear whether it will be added. Blackstone’s initial indicative offer was around 210p-220p per share, considerably below Minerva’s net asset value of 379.5p. Even if Blackstone were not shortlisted, it could still table a higher bid.
There has been speculation that Blackstone was omitted from the shortlist in order to try and force a higher offer. However, City analysts believe it will be difficult for Minerva to attract a straight cash bid of over its 320p-per-share break-up value, as much of the company´s value is locked into non-income producing development sites.
Lehman Brothers and HSBC, the banks handling the sale, are to arrange meetings this week with the shortlisted bidders, plus Minerva Chairman and Chief Executive, Sir David Garrard and Andrew Rosenfeld.