Hotel group MWB increases Business Exchange bid following investor unrest

 
City A.M. Reporter
HOTEL operator MWB Group raised its potential offer for the shares of MWB Business Exchange that it does not already own, after the office space supplier’s second-biggest shareholder said it would reject the initial bid.

MWB sweetened its offer to 1.75 new MWB units and 12.7p in cash per Business Exchange share – which is about 80.1p per share.

The new offer values the company at £52m, compared with MWB’s earlier bid, made on 27 April, which valued Business Exchange at about £32.7m.

The company said the independent directors of Business Exchange would accept the offer.

In May, Business Exchange recommended MWB’s bid over a £60m bid approach from larger rival Regus.

Regus withdrew its offer in June after being snubbed by MWB, which owns more than 70 per cent of Business Exchange.

Pyrrho Investment, which owns an eight per cent stake in Business Exchange, had said that MWB’s approach “grossly undervalues” the company.

Paul Cummins, Pyrrho’s investment director, said at the time: “MWB is holding a gun to the heads of Business Exchange’s minority shareholders, and has presented us with a derisory offer.”

Pyrrho supports the new offer from MWB.

ADVISERS: PANMURE GORDON

HUGH MORGAN
PANMURE GORDON

HUGH Morgan is acting as financial adviser and broker to MWB on its approach for the outstanding shares it does not own in Business Exchange.

As managing director at the stockbroker, which is one of the oldest in the City, he has responsibility for a wide range of corporate clients.

He first joined the investment banking specialist in 2002 from Swiss lender UBS, where he was an executive director.

Brewin Dolphin acted as the financial adviser to Business Exchange, led by managing director for corporate finance Sandy Fraser.

A specialist in financial advisory work to the consumer and support services sectors, Fraser has over 25 years of experience in the field.

He joined Brewin Dolphin as a director in 2002 from a listed retail services firm.

Fraser was joined by Alexander Dewar from Brewin. Dewar joined the broker in 2004 from supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, where he was head of the firm’s financial appraisal team.