GE Real Estate to buy Benchmark for

Benchmark Group, the quoted West End specialist, has announced that it has accepted a £273.1m takeover bid from GE Real Estate.

GE will pay 280p per share for Benchmark, and has secured the support of shareholders controlling 71.8% of the company.

The offer is at a premium of 1.5% to Benchmark’s basic net asset value of 275.8p per share as of 31 December 2003.

GE outbid Resolution Property, previously considered the favourite to buy Benchmark, which was thought to have struggled to pay the asking price for the company.

Alec Burger, Managing Director of GE Real Estate, commented: “Benchmark offers a good opportunity to increase our exposure to the West End market of London by acquiring a West End property portfolio which has been developed and managed by a respected specialist team. It is also highly complementary to our existing portfolio in the UK.”

Benchmark Chairman, Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, added: “This offer represents a successful outcome following our recent strategic review and crystallises immediate and good value for the company’s investors.”

Source: Freeman / PR Wire page

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