The billionaire Jewish orthodox family behind London property business Daejan on Friday made a £270 million offer to take the company private for the first time in more than 60 years.
Daejan has come under scrutiny previously for having no women on its board and has previously defended itself on the grounds of the Orthodox faith of its directors.
An investment vehicle set up by the Freshwater family, which has a £2.5 billion UK and US real estate empire, has proposed a 8050p offer per share for a 20.5% stake. That is a premium of approximately 56% to yesterday’s closing price.
The shares jumped 54.7% to 2830p.
The family already owns the rest of the business, and the swoop values the company at £1.3 billion. They said there was little prospect of them selling more shares, prompting its move to take the company private.
The firm was first established by Osias Freshwater, who was away from his native Poland on a business visa in 1939 at the outbreak of the Second World War. The firm today owns homes, shops and offices.
Osias Freshwater died in 1976 and his son Benzion is chairman. His youngest son, Solomon, is also on the board.
Benzion Freshwater said: “Daejan has not issued any further shares since flotation in 1959 and, in view of the Freshwater Group’s commitment to long-term ownership of Daejan it does not believe that it will offer any of its shares for sale in the future.”
Rothschild and Lazard are advising.