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LONDON-Elliott Bernerd has announced he needs more time to raise funding for his ££860 million (1.5 billion) bid to take Chelsfield private.

A company statement announced that Bernerd’s consortium, backed by major shareholder and Israeli diamond magnate Beny Steinmetz, will not be able to make a fully funded offer for Chelsfield until December. Last October they made an indicative takeover offer of 305p a share and the consortium said it would be in a position to announce a fully funded offer by mid November.

At the time the independent directors, chaired by Sir Bruce MacPhail, indicated that they would welcome other offers and said Bernerd’s offer was too low and did not reflect the long-term value of Chelsfield. In their latest statement the directors noted that this “concern is shared by certain institutional investors” and that “he independent directors have informed Elliott Bernerd of this, and he has advised them that he is continuing to work on a possible offer for the company.”. The statement added: “There can be no assurance that any offer will be forthcoming either during or after this process.”

At least ten parties are said to have expressed an interest in considering an offer for Chelsfield and as a result the company had made information available to potential bidders. Possible bidders are said to include Gerald Ronson’s Heron Group and Goldman Sachs. There is also speculation that Simons Group may enter the fray.

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