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Capco says no approach from Nicholas Candy, talking to Delancey about Earls Court sale

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By Yadarisa Shabong

(Reuters) – Capital & Counties Properties Plc (Capco) <CAPCC.L> said on Monday it had not received any overtures from luxury property developer Nicholas Candy after one of his investment funds said it was considering a cash offer for the 85-year old company.

Capco also said it was in exclusive talks with investment firm Delancey regarding a possible sale of its interests in the Earls Court area of west London.

The Sunday Times reported that the Candy brothers, Nick and Christian, held early stage talks with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund about a joint move on UK-based Capco, which has a market value of about £2.1 billion.

Candy Ventures, an investment vehicle, confirmed on Monday it was in the early stages of considering an offer for all of Capco, prompting Capco to say it had not been approached by Candy Ventures or any other party.

“The board has full confidence in the company’s strategy and management to continue to deliver significant shareholder value,” Capco said in a statement.

Shares of the midcap company rose as much as 10% to their highest level in nearly a year.

Capco said it was “well advanced” in separating its prime London estates of Covent Garden and Earls Court. It said it had entered into a short period of exclusivity on Sunday with an entity established by Delancey, on behalf of its client fund and Capco shareholder Dutch-based APG Asset Management, regarding the sale of the Earls Court business.

Capco said last month there was progress with parties interested in buying its Earls Court assets, which include the Lillie Square development and other properties in the area, and that its board was working with selected parties for a possible sale.

Capco was in talks last year to sell the bulk of its interests in the estate to Hong Kong billionaire property developer Li Ka-shing’s CK Asset Holdings <1113.HK>.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich, Bernard Orr, Kirsten Donovan)

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