McGrigors in tactical buyout bid

Scottish firm McGrigor Donald is claiming victory after spotting a legal loophole allowing its client to claim control of a u100m property company – simply by matching its rival's bid.

Dotterel, advised by McGrigors, and Miller, advised by Maclay Murray & Spens, both bid to take control of CALA, a London-listed property company valued at u100m.

Edinburgh-based property firm Miller, a subsidiary of Miller Group, launched a hostile bid for CALA against preferred takeover firm Dotterel, the company created by CALA's management as part of a buyout deal.

Miller made a final offer of u2 per CALA share claiming to reserve the right to raise it by 10p. Dotterel then made a matching bid of u2 per share.

The takeover panel then prevented Miller from in-creasing its offer by 10p.

Anna Brown, lead partner at McGrigors, says: “It was a little-used tactic.” A McGrigor Donald spokeswoman says: “The Miller Group has come out with egg on its face.”

Partner Morag McNeill, credited with formulating the matching bid, says Miller failed to buy up shares the day after the panel's decision. “We were confident, but thought we still had a struggle on our hands. They were nowhere.”

Forsters acted for CALA.