Billionaire’s offer to take Daejan Holdings private sends property firm’s shares soaring 55%

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The Freshwater family already owns 79.5 per cent of the FTSE 250-listed property group Daejan Holdings, and now wants to buy the remaining 20.5 per cent for 8050p per share


MARKET REPORT: Billionaire’s offer to take property firm Daejan Holdings private in £270m deal sends shares soaring 55%

Property group Daejan Holdings rocketed after the billionaire family that controls it offered to take it private in a £270million deal.

The Freshwater family already owns 79.5 per cent of the FTSE 250-listed company, and now wants to buy the remaining 20.5 per cent for 8050p per share. 

This is 56 per cent higher than the 5170p its stock was valued at before the offer was announced, and gives the group a £1.3billion price tag. Its stock market value was previously £845million.

The Freshwater family already owns 79.5 per cent of the FTSE 250-listed property group Daejan Holdings, and now wants to buy the remaining 20.5 per cent for 8050p per share

Businessman Osias Freshwater began building up Daejan’s property empire in the 1950s and it is now run by his son, Benzion.

Its portfolio of buildings in the UK and eastern US is estimated to be worth £2.4billion, and includes the former headquarters of the BBC World Service, the Grade II-listed Africa House office block.

Daejan is one of the companies on the FTSE 350 that tends to fly under the radar.

But it has made headlines over a long-running row with the Government’s diversity tsars, as it is thought to be the only publicly listed major firm in Britain that’s never had a woman on its board.

Daejan attributes its all-male policy to the Jewish Orthodox faith of its executives and the desire of Benzion Freshwater to preserve his father’s legacy.

Stock watch – 600 Group

Profits at British industrial engineer 600 Group will fall even lower than it last warned in December.

The lasers maker fell 21.4 per cent, or 3p, to 11p after it was pummelled by a barrage of setbacks internationally, even though orders in its UK operations were up more than 100 per centon the previous year.

A General Motors strike in the US and the impact of the 737 Max ban, plus the coronavirus outbreak disrupting shipping from Asia, has knocked sales.

Daejan was in the spotlight yesterday as its shares soared 55.1 per cent, or 2850p, to 8020p.

But even Daejan’s surge couldn’t breathe much life into the FTSE 250, which closed down 0.4 per cent, or 86.49 points, at 21780.2.

The FTSE 100 was also down 0.4 per cent, or 32.72 points, at 7403.92.

Stock markets around the world have had a choppy few weeks as coronavirus has sparked fears about economic growth. 

And traders appeared to be gloomier about the virus, despite new cases falling, as figures showed car sales in China plummeted 92 per cent and that airlines will lose £24billion in revenue this year.

Russ Mould, investment director at broker AJ Bell, said: ‘While the number of new cases of coronavirus continue to slow in China, the spread outside the country is escalating, and it seems the market is waking up to the impact on both individual companies and the wider economy.’

Luxury fashion house Burberry has already said its trading in Asia, which was responsible for 40 per cent of revenues last year, will suffer as a result of the epidemic.

And yesterday brokers at Jefferies cut the trenchcoat maker’s target price from 1900p to 1750p, saying the FTSE 100 group will be ‘disproportionately impacted’ by the outbreak.

Jefferies’ move shaved 2.6 per cent, or 49.5p, off Burberry’s share price, as it closed at 1870.5p.

Testing and inspection certification specialist Intertek also suffered at the hands of brokers wary about the knock-on effects of coronavirus. 

The Footsie-listed group was downgraded from ‘hold’ to ‘sell’ by brokers at Shore Capital, who said it will likely be hit by the disease’s effect on China’s economy because a lot of its revenue flows from the region.

Its shares fell 0.7 per cent, or 42p, to 5844p, as brokers recommended investors ‘take profits’ and go.

Water company United Utilities shrugged off a bump down from ‘buy’ to ‘neutral’ by Citigroup analysts, who believe that its share price broadly reflects its performance. Its stock rose 1.1 per cent, or 11.5p, to 1058p.

And office provider Workspace Group edged up 0.2 per cent, or 2p, to 1268p as Deutsche Bank analysts trimmed their rating from ‘buy’ to ‘hold’, but raised the target price on its stock from 1200p to 1300p.

Shares in safety and medical kit maker Halma were up 0.5 per cent, or 10p, to 2227p after it bought Maxtec, a company specialising in oxygen-monitoring equipment for £18.5million.

 

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