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IPE special report May 2018

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Henderson buys infrastructure firm Laing

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UK - Henderson has had a £886.9m (€1.3bn) offer to buy infrastructure and construction firm John Laing accepted.

"The boards of HIH [Henderson Infrastructure Holdco] and Laing are pleased to announce that they have reached agreement on the terms of recommended proposals by which all of the issued and to be issued share capital of Laing will be acquired by HIH," the two firms said.
  
HIH is a new company formed by Henderson Fund Management's Henderson Equity Partners. The move gives it a boost in the so-called private finance initiative and public-private partnerships markets.
 
"We are delighted that the Laing directors have decided unanimously to recommend the proposals to Laing's shareholders which are at significant premia to Laing's share prices in the three months prior to the announcement by Laing that it had received an approach," said Paul Woodbury, partner of Henderson Equity Partners.

"Henderson Equity Partners' considerable experience in global PFI/PPP markets combined with the specialist infrastructure funds that it manages place Laing in a stronger position to fund the significant capital investment required to realise its growth potential.'

"We believe that the proposals provide shareholders with an attractive cash price which fairly reflects the quality of Laing's portfolio and established position in the infrastructure and PFI/ PPP markets," added
Laing chairman William Forrester.

"Combining Laing's operational skill base with Henderson Equity Partners' financial capacity should help to ensure Laing's continued development in the UK and underpin its expansion into overseas markets."

Henderson was advised by Rothschild and JP Morgan Cazenove while Laing was advised by Greenhill alongside brokers Bridgewell and Panmure Gordon.

Meanwhile, shares in real estate manager Invista Real Estate made their debut following their £103m spin off from banking group HBOS.

It's joined the Alternative Investment Market and the business is valued at around £ 251m.

The firm said it would use the money raised as investment capital for new real estate funds which it will manage.

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