UPDATE 1-Dutch property funds resume merger talks

Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:21pm IST

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* No guarantee a transaction will take place

* Talks failed in February over price

* VastNed Offices shares up 4.8 pct, NSI up 0.3 pct

(Adds company comment, background, shares)

AMSTERDAM, April 15 (Reuters) - Dutch property groups VastNed Offices/Industrial VWNN.AS and Nieuwe Steen Investments (NSTEc.AS) are having another shot at merger talks.

Negotiations to form a group with a combined 2.3 billion euros of property assets failed in February due to disagreement over price, leaving them mulling their strategy in a domestic market suffering from oversupply. [ID:nLDE71D06N]

A bid from NSI, which in December offered 0.85 NSI shares for each VastNed Offices/Industrial (VNOI) share, would have helped the companies create economies of scale and cope with the overcrowded Dutch market.

"There can be no certainty that these discussions will result in a transaction," both groups said in separate statements on Friday.

VNOI shares extended gains after the news, trading up 4.8 percent at 12.54 euros, after reaching the highest intraday point in two months.

NSI shares closed up 0.3 percent at 14.75 euros, erasing most of their intraday gains.

NSI managed 1.3 billion euros in assets at the end of December, mostly Dutch offices and shops, while VastNed Offices managed 1 billion euros, mostly Dutch and Belgian offices.

NSI said in February VNOI had rejected a proposal to sweeten its offer, which it said was 0.88 NSI shares for each VNOI share, plus cash equal to about twice VNOI's annual overhead costs and a one-off payment to management.

Under those terms and based on 18.93 million VNOI shares outstanding at the end of December and NSI's Friday closing price of 14.75 euros per share, the offer would be worth 245.7 million euros plus the cash. (Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger; Editing by Will Waterman)

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