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McCarthy & Stone agrees £1bn takeover

Retirement house builder McCarthy & Stone has agreed a £1 billion takeover bid for the company - but two other rivals could contest the deal.

The company said shareholders would receive £10 per share from the Bidco consortium, led by private equity firm Permira, under the recommended deal.

The offer - which values McCarthy & Stone at £1.02 billion - is a 37 per cent premium to the average share price over the last six months. Chairman Keith Lovelock said: 'Compared with the other approaches we have received, we believe the offer provides certainty for shareholders and the company at a value which fairly reflects the strengths inherent in the business.'

But McCarthy & Stone said it had also received an offer of £10.30 a share yesterday from investment vehicle Aldersgate, and West Coast Capital. The billionaire Reuben brothers are behind the Aldersgate company in the rival bid.

The challenging bidder said this morning that it expected to complete its due diligence shortly, and make a further proposal to the McCarthy & Stone board.

A third bidder could yet join the fray for the building firm. According to weekend reports, property tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz has prepared a bid worth more than £10 a share, but it is yet to be fully financed.