Qatar raises stake in Morgan Stanley

The government of Qatar has raised its stake in Silvestor, the vehicle for Morgan Stanley’s £1.6bn bid for Canary Wharf, from £60m to £102m. The move follows Morgan Stanley’s decision last Friday to raise its offer for the Docklands developer to 275p per share, trumping a 270p hostile bid from the Brascan Corporation.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs had reduced its equity stake in the bidding vehicle from 6% to 2.6%. Morgan Stanley was keen to stress that Qatar had been looking to raise its stake for several weeks and was not just making up the shortfall in the aftermath of Goldman Sachs’ decision.

Goldman Sachs will still provide mezzanine finance for Silvestor, but is understood to have been concerned that the returns from its equity would not be sufficiently high once the bid was raised.

Canary Wharf said yesterday that the Morgan Stanley offer was “capable” of being approved at shareholder meetings on 23 February.

“The Independent Committee welcomes the improvement in the terms of the acquisition, which amounts to a material increase in the value being offered to Canary Wharf shareholders with higher total consideration”, the company said in a statement.

Source: Freeman News

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