EUROPE - Real estate firm DTZ has said it will continue to negotiate the sale of the business following an announcement this morning that its shares could effectively be worthless.

An RNS to the London Stock Exchange, which resulted in a precipitous 86% fall in DTZ's share price at the time of going to press, confirmed the company would continue with the formal sale process despite the fact there is "minimal value, if any, that may be attributed to the ordinary shares of DTZ, although the exact value is uncertain".

The highly indebted company said in a statement it had attracted "considerable interest" from potential buyers, but that it had been forced to revalue the business in response to offers received.

A spokesman for the company said DTZ was "a tremendous brand with a strong company in Europe and China".

But he added: "We'll see where the share price ends up today, but the statement says 'minimal value', and it doesn't get any clearer than that."

DTZ instigated the formal sales process after the mid-October collapse of talks with majority shareholder Saint Georges Participations (SGP) over a potential sale to French bank BNP Paribas.

The talks, which began in May, are understood to have stumbled over the external funding environment.

Despite withdrawing from the talks within the 28-day 'put up or shut up' deadline required by UK regulators - a move that precludes it tabling another bid for at least six months - SGP and lender RBS last month extended a £10m (€11.6m) loan to keep the company afloat.