Aberdeen Property Investors receives Teesland bid

Teesland plc has reportedly made an offer for Aberdeen Property Investors, the property arm of Aberdeen Asset Management. However, Teesland is only believed to be interested in API’s UK division, which accounts for two thirds of the fund manager’s £5.7bn of assets.

Teesland is understood to be offering around £45m for the business, the same price that British Land had offered for two of API’s three divisions before talks broke down earlier this year.

The British Land deal collapsed four months ago when API’s Nordic division refused to move alongside the UK and Continental European operations, and British Land subsequently reduced the amount it was willing to pay for the company.

Aberdeen Asset Management put its property arm up for sale in November 2002 after it was hit by the collapse of the split capital investment trust sector. Although it is under less pressure to sell the business than it was a year ago, Chief Executive, Martin Gilbert, last week said that it would consider selling off API if the liabilities arising from the split-cap crisis exceeded its insurance cover.

API is not thought to have responded to Teesland’s offer. The two companies are already connected through Bank of Scotland, which has a 26.7% stake in Teesland and is the major lender to Aberdeen.

Although British Land would have kept API as a separate business, Teesland is understood to want to integrate the company.

Neither Aberdeen Asset Management nor Teesland were prepared to comment.

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