Grainger makes bid approach to Wigley-led Sovereign Reversions

SOVEREIGN Reversions, the Aim-listed home equity release firm that appointed banking grandee Bob Wigley as non-executive chairman in December, yesterday said it had received a preliminary takeover approach from Grainger, the UK’s largest listed specialist residential landlord.

Grainger’s approach has been made at 185p in cash per Sovereign Reversions share, valuing the company at just under £31.7m. The offer represents a 51 per cent premium to Sovereign’s share price on Friday.

Sovereign’s stock leapt by more than a quarter of its value yesterday, closing the day at 155p.

Wigley, the ex-chairman of Merrill Lynch, last year extolled the virtues of Sovereign in a strong growth market. “There is no significant answer to the pension problem without a surge in equity release,” he said.

His appointment came after the firm in August saw a group of fellow dissident shareholders, who caused controversy when they tried to oust the board and put the firm into run-off by sending pre-ticked proxy voting cards to investors.