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IOF, Cromwell continue privatization talks

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IOF, Cromwell continue privatization talks

Investa Office Fund's board has eased its stance on Cromwell Property Group's offer to take the fund private.

Having previously refused Cromwell's request for access to due diligence on the fund, Richard Longes, chairman of IOF's responsible entity, Investa Listed Funds Management Ltd., said in a letter to unit holders that it is in "regular discussions" with Cromwell over a potential all-cash deal.

Longes added that the fund has entertained Cromwell's offer to execute a confidentiality agreement, but the two have yet to agree on terms. Specifically, IOF independent directors deemed Cromwell's insistence on additional exceptions to a standstill provision to not be market standard or in the best interests of unit holders.

The standstill provision in the initial confidentiality agreement would have restricted Cromwell from buying or offering to buy IOF securities while in possession of confidential information on the fund. It also included clauses that would have enabled Cromwell to bid for the fund without needing board approval and sell all or a portion of its IOF stake.

IOF's board said it will provide Cromwell with due diligence and confidential information if a confidentiality agreement is signed.