UK's HomeServe says in talks with Brookfield for possible offer

(Reuters) -HomeServe Plc said on Thursday it is in talks with Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management for a possible offer for the home repair services firm.

Following a sharp rise in HomeServe’s shares on March 24, the Canadian property investment group announced, after market closed, that one of its private infrastructure funds was in the early stages of considering a possible offer for the British company.

Shares of HomeServe had risen about 16% to 939 pence on the next day of the Brookfield disclosure, valuing the British firm at about 3.16 billion pounds ($4.12 billion).

HomeServe had benefited from a robust demand during the COVID-19 led lockdowns as home-bound customers spent more on renovations.

The British firm focuses on selling home repairs insurance, mostly to customers of water and electricity utilities, and has operations in Britain and the United States.

The FTSE 250 firm said Brookfield now has to announce a firm intention to make an offer for HomeServe by May 19 or walk away from it.

HomeServe’s stock closed Thursday’s trading 0.5% higher at 853.5 pence, before the London-listed firm’s after-the-bell announcement.

($1 = 0.7671 pounds)

Reporting by Sinchita Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri