DTZ plummets as takeover talks end

Kasmira Jefford
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SHARES in property consultancy DTZ plunged by 13 per cent yesterday after its majority shareholder walked away from making a formal takeover offer due to market turmoil and the Eurozone debt crisis.

DTZ revealed in May that French family-run property group Saint Georges Participations (SGP), which owns about 55 per cent of DTZ, had approached it with a potential takeover offer.

SGP made its bid in partnership with the real estate arm of BNP Paribas, which was to take over DTZ in a deal valuing the firm at about £162m. SGP had until today to make an offer or walk away under stock market rules.

Tim Melville-Ross, DTZ’s chairman, said: “The external environment has contrived to prevent the considerable efforts of many people over the past months to consummate a transaction.”

Shares in DTZ, which closed at 23.75p last night, have more than halved in value since talks were announced in May.

Takeover speculation, combined with poor economic conditions, meant DTZ had a “varied start to the year”, the firm said in a trading update last month.

“The business has had a lack of clarity, which has now dissipated,” John Forrester, DTZ’s new chief executive said, adding that the company’s prime drive was to focus on significant areas of growth such as China and India.

The group also announced it has agreed it agreed a £10m credit facility with SGP and Royal Bank of Scotland.