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LONDON-Chelsfield chairman Elliott Bernerd said this morning he hoped to make an MBO bid for the company by the middle of next month.

Bernerd said: “I had hoped to be in a position today to make some definitive statements in relation to the outcome (of the MBO approach).” He added: “Some of the outstanding aspects are such that, at the time of writing, I cannot say with any certainty whether or not the consortium which we have assembled will be in a position to make an offer which the independent directors decide merits being put to shareholders.” He said the board would consider whether to proceed with an offer if none was forthcoming by this time.

The confirmation of Bernerd’s plans came as the company announced pretax losses of £2.3 million (£3.7 million) and a 7% fall in net asset value. Chelsfield’s results continued to be hit by losses from telehousing arm Global Switch, this time by £16 million (£25.4 million) in the first half – and Bernerd confirmed the sale of a minority stake to Morley was almost complete.

Bernerd also He also confirmed that German open-ended fund CGI would fund Chelsfield’s White City development, with Chelsfield retaining a 50% stake, and that Marks & Spencer would be one of the anchor tenants there.

The company also announced Chelsfield this morning said it would close its US office, following the sale of £64 million ($101.7 million) of assets. The remaining £37 million ($58.7 million) will be sold in due course, in order to “concentrate investment elsewhere”.

Chelsfield also plans to refinance the Merry Hill shopping centre, where zone A rents have risen to £260 (£413) per sq ft.

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