Minerva continues Dubai talks

Beleaguered property investor Minerva has said its talks with potential financial buyer Limitless have progressed since the latter group first said it might make an offer of 160p a share.

In a short statement when delivering full-year figures, the company said: “Discussions with Limitless World LLC are ongoing but there can be no certainty that an offer will be forthcoming.”

The talks were first revealed two months ago. The approach by the subsidiary of Gulf state-owned group Dubai World sent Minerva’s shares up to as much as 135p in early August but they have since drifted back to 78.5p.

Limitless’s proposals are lodged below Minerva’s latest net asset value (NAV) of 187.7p as of the end of June, reported as the group issued final results showing a drop in NAV by 43% over the year.

Minerva is developing the Walbrook and St Botolph’s buildings in the City of London. There has been concern that these developments might struggle to secure tenants in the current economic environment. St Botolph’s is part let.

Chief executive Salmaan Hasan said: “Despite the challenging market conditions, Minerva remains well positioned. We have a robust balance sheet, funding in place for our key developments and a strong cash position to move the business forward.”

The company added that it understood that “Limitless’s due diligence is substantially complete but that Limitless requires consents from third parties which are a waivable pre-condition to an announcement of an offer.”

Minerva also said that if a competitive situation arose it might increase the level of its current proposal.