Reichmann increases Canary Wharf stake

Canary Wharf Group PLC said founder and former chairman Paul Reichmann now has an interest in 8.87 pct of the company´s shares.

This is an increase from his former shareholding of around 7.7 pct and arises after the acquisition of shares yesterday by LMR Trust, a discretionary trust for the benefit of, amongst others, the Paul Reichmann family. LMR acquired for no consideration the holding company of RCW Investments Ltd from the PLR Issue Trust, another trust created for the benefit of certain members of the Reichmann family.

RCW Investments is interested in 10 mln Canary Wharf shares.

Canary Wharf said that at today´s date, LMR Trust, and therefore Paul Reichmann, has a net interest in 51,915,085 ordinary shares of the company, up from 45,221,082 previously, representing 8.87 pct.

Reichmann is widely expected to reveal this week that he has secured financial backing from HSBC Holdings PLC and Barclays PLC to fund a bid for Canary Wharf.

Any bid, which is not expected this side of Christmas, would have to top a 1.56 bln stg offer from a consortium led by Morgan Stanley. The consortium includes Simon Glick, a wealthy New York diamond magnate who already has a 14 pct stake in Canary Wharf.

A committee of independent directors at Canary Wharf has already recommended the Morgan Stanley and Glick consortium´s revised 265 pence-a-share bid. Under the new cash and shares bid, the consortium guaranteed to underwrite any shares in a new Aim-listed vehicle that are not taken up by existing shareholders.

Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, several hedge funds and George Soros, the legendary US financier, are understood to have had talks with Morgan Stanley about participating in the share underwriting scheme.

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