NEC owner swoops with £1.2 billion bid to buy property developer St Modwen

The owner of the NEC Group has made a £1.2 billion bid to buy one of the region’s biggest development and regeneration companies.

St Modwen Homes is the housebuilding division
St Modwen Homes is the housebuilding division

St Modwen Properties, based in Longbridge, Birmingham, has been going for more than 30 years and has three business units: St Modwen Homes, St Modwen Logistics and Strategic Land & Regeneration.

United States-based alternative investment firm Blackstone Group is prepared to pay £5.42 per share to take control of St Modwen.

It is 21.1 per cent above St Modwen's closing share price of £4.48 yesterday.

The offer follows a series of unsolicited proposals from Blackstone to take control of the Longbridge-headquartered developer.

St Modwen said: “Having considered the possible offer, the board of St Modwen has indicated to Blackstone that the possible offer is at a value the board would be willing to recommend unanimously, should a firm intention to make an offer pursuant to Rule 2.7 of the Code be announced on such terms.

"The possible offer is subject to a number of pre-conditions, including the satisfactory completion of confirmatory due diligence which is currently underway by Blackstone. St Modwen and Blackstone are working closely together to complete Blackstone’s confirmatory due diligence as soon as practicable. Blackstone has confirmed that the possible offer is not subject to any financing pre-condition."

It says that a further announcement will be made when it is appropriate to do so.

St Modwen Homes has built houses on the former Goodyear site at Wolverhampton and St Modwen Logistics includes the St Modwen Park site at Tamworth in Staffordshire.

St Modwen is also redeveloping the former Austin and British Leyland site at Longbridge and has just started delivering a new phase of works along Longbridge Lane, funded by Birmingham City Council.

The company's results for the year to November 30 were hit by the Covid-19 health crisis and saw a pre-tax loss of £139.4 million, down from the profit of £58.9 million in 2019. Revenue also slipped to £342.1m, a decrease from £429.9m.

The firm also completed 1.2m sq ft of new warehouse development during 2020.

St Modwen is also planning to sell off one of Staffordshire’s top visitor attractions, The Trentham Estate, to a firm which will 'support its ongoing sites.

The estate, between Stone and Stoke-on-Trent, has been owned by St Modwen for 30 years.

St Modwen has said it wants to sell £200 million of its assets by 2023.

Blackstone bought NEC Group, which includes the National Exhibition Centre at Birmingham, in 2018. It also includes the International Convention Centre, Resorts World Arena and Utilita Arena among its assets as well as caterer Amadeus and national ticketing agency The Ticket Factory.

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