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DTZ sale back on, multiple bids in

The London-listed property services firm’s is now at the centre of a competitive bidding process after a deal with France’s BNP Paribas fell apart this week.

DTZ, the London-based property services, is now at the centre of a bid battle with a number of interested parties expressing interest in taking it over.

The firm revealed this morning a decision to put itself up for sale after a receiving an unspecified number of approaches 48 hours after talks with its original suitor and majority shareholder, Saint Georges Participations, abruptly ended amid wider economic fears.

“(DTZ) has received preliminary indications of interest from a number of parties potentially interested in acquiring DTZ,” the company said in a statement this morning. It will implement a formal sale process of the company, which it will conduct alongside consideration of the other strategic options available to DTZ, aimed at ensuring the long-term growth of the business, addressing the capital structure and providing funds for future investment.”

DTZ shares were up 6.6 percent to 24.25 pence on the news.

Saint Georges Participations and the London-listed firm announced on Monday the “end of offer period” related to the French family-run property group’s May takeover bid which would have seen DTZ merged with French rival BNP Paribas to become one of the largest players in global property services.

DTZ said in its announcement: “The Board of DTZ notes the announcement today by Saint Georges Participations SAS (“SGP”) stating that it has decided not to proceed further with an offer for the Company. DTZ is no longer in an offer period and the independent committee of the Board of the Company, comprising the directors other than those nominated by SGP, will take action in respect of the strategic options available to DTZ.”

Tim Melville-Ross, chairman of DTZ, blamed the “external environment” as contriving to prevent the deal going ahead however welcomed extra credit backing that SGP and UK bank Royal Bank of Scotland are to extend to the

DTZ chief executive John Forrester told Reuters the inability of SGP to complete the would-be $256 million deal was “nothing to do with DTZ.” “BNP was very attracted, and that’s why talks went to the last minute,” he said blaming the current problems in the Eurozone as “a major stumbling block”.