Olswang to take bids on Minerva acquisition

Olswang has been instructed on a major public takeover – its second in the past two months – thanks to interest in one of its biggest clients, property company Minerva.

Minerva is a long-standing client of Olswang and the firm advised on the property company’s £158m acquisition of Allders. But now Minerva is up for sale with a host of bidders interested and a price tag of up to £600m.

Olswang was also instructed last month by Marks & Spencer (M&S) chief executive Stuart Rose to advise on how to respond to Goldman Sach’s comments about his dealing in M&S shares.

Minerva has been an important property and corporate client for Olswang since its creation in 1990, as Olswang chief executive officer Jonathan Goldstein has a close personal relationship with the property firm’s chief executive Andrew Rosenfeld.

Minerva revealed last week that it had received a formal takeover approach, while several other parties had also expressed an interest in the company.

In a statement, Minerva said that although the company had “received an approach from a third party”, discussions were still at a preliminary stage and the board was “considering its options”.

However, Goldstein confirmed Olswang had been instructed regarding the takeover bids.

Although Minerva’s last published net asset value put the group’s worth at 317p a share, or £500m, it is speculated that the high-level of interest in the company could create a bid battle which could reach as much as £600m.