Mystery firms close in on Foster
9 February, 2007

By Angela Monaghan, Vikki Miller

The architect met four private equity firms this week ahead of a senior
management meeting

Four private equity firms are circling Lord Foster’s practice, the
second round of bids for which are due in by the end of the month.
A source told Building that the mystery bidders have each been invited
to meet this week with Lord Foster, followed by a session with his
senior management.

Initial estimates of the firm’s value have reached £500m. Despite
speculation that it has been overvalued, a spokesperson for Foster said
buyers were willing to pay about that price.

The spokesperson said: “It’s not a pie in the sky figure. It may not go
for £500m, but it will get at least £390m. I have no doubt whatsoever
that it will sell in that price range or not at all.”

The news comes as it emerged that Foster spent about half a million
pounds rebranding the practice. The name changed at the end of last year
from Foster and Partners to Foster + Partners.