Minverva bid is rejected as opportunistic

Minerva, owner of City development the Walbrook, yesterday&nbsp; fended off&nbsp; a takeover offer from one of its largest shareholders, slamming the offer as &ldquo;woefully inadequate&rdquo;.<br /><br />South African shareholder Nathan Kirsh, who has built up a&nbsp; 29.9 per cent in the company, yesterday launched an unsolicited 50p a share offer for Minerva, valuing the business at some &pound;84.5m.<br /><br />Kirsh said the offer was at a 30.7 premium to Minerva&rsquo;s closing price on Monday. But Minerva, which is being advised by investment bank Greenhill, immediately rejected the bid as &ldquo;unattractive&rdquo; and &ldquo;opportunistic&rdquo;.<br /><br />Kirsh&rsquo;s offer is also substantially lower than the 160p-a-share that Dubai Limitless offered in July. That bid was knocked back after it failed to secure the backing of Minerva&rsquo;s lenders. <br /><br />Chief executive Salmaan Hasan said: &ldquo;We believe that as a business we have done some serious heavy lifting to put us in a strong position and we have some of the only office schemes in development in a very constricted City market.&rdquo;<br /><br />Minerva said that it had received an offer for its Wigmore Street headquarters&nbsp; around ten per cent higher than its July valuation of &pound;34m, and that it had several parties interested in its St Botolph and Walbrook sites.<br /><br />In September the group successfully refinanced &pound;812m of debt, allaying concerns that it might breach its covenants.<br /><br />Hasan also pointed to the recent rally in the property market and improved confidence, saying that 77-year-old Kirsh&rsquo;s offer in did not take into account the future upside.