Diamond trader hires rothschilds
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Diamond dealer may back Canary bid
James Rossiter, Evening Standard
27 August 2003
A SECRETIVE New York diamond magnate holds the key to the takeover of Docklands developer Canary Wharf. Simon Glick, who controls about 15% of Canary Wharf's shares, has been in talks about backing and possibly co-financing a bid from Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds, the only bidder to have lodged a formal takeover proposal.
Glick, a property investor whose family initially made its fortunes in diamond trading, is a close friend of executive chairman Paul Reichmann who controls 7.75% of Canary Wharf and who may yet bid for the company himself.
'Getting Glick onside is vital for any takeover proposal from MSREF,' said a deal source, who confirmed that talks with the major shareholders or their advisers, including Glick, have taken place.
Canary Wharf effectively put itself up for sale at the beginning of June and could fetch £1.8bn . By the end of June, Glick had hired investment bankers at NM Rothschild in London.
'Any buyer of Canary Wharf will want at least 75% control to drive through any financial restructuring needed to make a profit on their investment. Reichmann and his friendly New York investor friends are the key to any bid,' said another source.
Reichmann admitted this week he was considering putting together a bid consortium for the property company he floated in 1998.
He bought Canary Wharf out of administration in 1995 for £800m with the financial support of a group of US investors, Glick the biggest of them.