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Evergrande behind bid interest

Jack Ma backed China company pursuing Cala

Brunswick Road Cala

Cala Homes development in Leith

Cala Homes’ Chinese suitor has been revealed as a company backed by by one of the country’s richest men.

Developer Evergrande Group is said to be behind a potential £600 million to £700m takeover bid and is being advised by KPMG.

Evergrande counts Alibaba chief executive Jack Ma among its shareholders and is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It also has a stake in Chinese football club Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao.

Edinburgh based Cala was linked to a bid last week but said at the time that it was “business as usual”.

However, its owners Legal & General and Patron Capital have hired Lazard to consider their options, three years after they bought the company for £210m.

cala-speculation-28-oct

Earlier this month it reported an 18% rise in annual pre-tax profits to a record £60.1 million on a 15% increase in revenue to £587.1m.

It is focused at the top of the market in affluent areas of the Midlands, Scotland, and around the M25.

The firm’s average selling price in England is £639,000, against the Scottish  average of £476,000.

It is among a number of asset-rich UK company’s attracting growing overseas interest as a result of the weak pound.

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