REAL ESTATE – Israeli property investor Habas HZ Investments will not make a public offer for a stake in the Netherlands based Nieuwe Steen Investments, the Dutch firm has said.

At Habas’ request, NSI was investigating a possible strategic cooperation aimed at an expansion of its real estate portfolio, but still using Habas’ expertise.

"After consultation with certain large NSI shareholders, Habas does not expect that a sufficient number of shares will be tendered through a public offer at the indicated price of approximately €21.90, enabling Habas to declare the offer unconditional," NSI said in a statement.

Habas was considering a bid for a 100% stake in the €820m NSI, but insisted on a minimum stake of 20%.

"NSI and Habas will continue their discussions to investigate the possibility of working together on real estate investments," NSI added.

Habas HZ Investments, part of Habas Group, develops and owns real estate, mainly in Israel, Europe and North America, partly through a property company listed at the Tel-Aviv stock exchange. The group specialises in exclusive real estate projects, and the construction of offices and commercial real estate.

One of the large shareholders in NSI – founder and supervisory chairman Jo Roelof Zeeman – was willing to sell his 12% stake. The owner of a similar stake, the Moeijes family, however, refused to sell for the price offered.

The daily Het Financieele Dagblad quoted Guus Moeijes as saying that there was no contact between either family. Zeeman, who declined to comment, has reportedly been trying to sell his stake during the past half a year.

Supervisory board member Michael van Galen recently announced his departure from NSI, citing "time constraints". His term was meant to end in 2009. NSI’s management does not intent to propose the appointment of a successor, it said.

NSI focuses on domestic real estate, mainly office buildings, retail centres, industrial and commercial buildings, as well as residential property. It reported 2006 returns of 16%, or €2.28 per average outstanding share.