Bank of Scotland backs Moorfield MBO

The management of the property group believes the £68.7m offer gives shareholders “an immediate and certain opportunity to realise their investment in Moorfield at a fair price”.

UK property company Moorfield Group Plc has been bought out by its management for £68.7m, Reuters reports.

The MBO was led by Marc Gilbard and Graham Stanley with the backing of Bank of Scotland. The team will pay 40p per share in cash for the firm, representing a premium of 8.8 per cent to Moorfield’s closing share price of 36.75p last Friday. The company’s shares were up 1.75p upon the news, trading at 38.5p this morning.

Moorfield’s shares were trading at a discount of 22.5 per cent to its net asset value last Friday, according to the company. The group, which announced last September that it was looking at ways to increase shareholder value, said it believes the offer gives its shareholders “an immediate and certain opportunity to realise their investment in Moorfield at a fair price,” the newswire says.

Gilbard, who is managing director of Moorfield, and Stanley will each hold 25.4 per cent of the company. The remaining 49.2 per cent is held by employee benefit trusts.

Moorfield also reported full year results showing pre-tax profits of £6.3m, down from £13.1m in 1999, on turnover of £15.3m.

In January this year, MEPC, the UK's fourth biggest commercial property developer, was taken private. Leconport, owned by GE Capital Real Estate and the Hermes fund management group, investment manager for the BT Pension Scheme, paid £1.9bn (E3bn) in cash for MEPC, a 25 per cent premium on its closing share price on May 31. Other property groups which have gone private include Frogmore Estates and Burford Holdings.