Morgan Stanley set to win

Morgan Stanley’s consortium looks set to win the protracted bid battle for Canary Wharf, after it submitted a 295p-per-share offer at 5pm on Monday, just before the bidding deadline.

The Morgan Stanley offer values the company at around 1.7bn and trumps a 275p-per-share offer made by the Brascan Corporation, in conjunction with former Canary Wharf Chairman, Paul Reichmann.

The Takeover Panel had given the two bidders until 5pm to make their final offers for the company.

Morgan Stanley had restructured its offer in order to circumvent the possibility of Brascan and Reichmann, who together control 18% of Canary Wharf, blocking the bid.

The Morgan Stanley offer was originally structured as a scheme of arrangement and therefore the bidder needed to secure 75% of shareholder support in order to guarantee success.

The restructuring brings the offer in line with the standard takeover process, and therefore Morgan Stanley requires just 50% of shareholder approval.

The successful consortium is backed by British Land, Goldman Sachs’s Whitehall Fund, Simon Glick and the Saudi investor, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. The consortium changed its name from Silvestor to Songbird on Friday afternoon.

Canary Wharf said in a statement today: 'In light of the higher cash amount available from Songbird, the independent committee intends to recommend Songbird´s offer to shareholders'.

The offer document will be posted to shareholders on 23 April.
Source: Freeman / Reuters

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