Proposals undervalued the property company, says chairman
Property firm Minerva has ended potential sale talks today.

The news follows the collapse into administration of department store chain Allders, in which Minerva is majority shareholder.

Minerva was approached by a prospective buyer in July last year, but today issued a statement today saying it had terminated discussions. Minerva chairman Sir David Garrard said: 'After much consideration, the board has decided that the proposals received did not fully reflect the value of the company.'

Although Minerva's announcement that sale talks are over made no mention of Allders, the department store group's demise yesterday - and, in particular, questions over who is liable for its pension deficit - has embroiled the property group in controversy.

In a separate statement issued yesterday, Minerva said it was 'disappointed by the failure of the sales process and the resulting administration, as it has worked very hard in its attempt to secure the future of Allders as a going concern. Minerva will be co-operating with the administrators in all respects.'

Minerva has been at pains to state that it has no liability for Allders' pension fund deficit and that any action taken against it by the pension regulator would be unlikely to succeed.