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Benchmark Group PLC (BMK)


Monday 01 March, 2004

Benchmark Group PLC

Statement re Possible Offer

Benchmark Group PLC
01 March 2004

                                                                    1 March 2004

                              Benchmark Group PLC

                          Possible offer for Benchmark

On 5 December 2003, Benchmark Group PLC ('Benchmark' or the 'Company'), the
specialist Central London property investment and development company, announced
that it had received approaches from various parties indicating they might be
interested in considering a possible offer for the Company.  Since then,
Benchmark has held detailed discussions to evaluate the approaches received.

Benchmark has now granted to GE Real Estate ('GERE') a period of exclusivity,
until 8 April 2004, in which to complete due diligence with a view to GERE
making offers for the ordinary share capital of Benchmark at approximately 280p
per share and for the 5.75 per cent. Convertible Unsecured Loan Stock 2013 of
Benchmark (the 'Stock') at approximately £103 per £100 nominal of Stock.

Friends Provident plc and GuocoLand Limited, who between them control
approximately 69 per cent. of Benchmark's issued share capital and 50 per cent.
of the outstanding Stock, have indicated that it is their current intention to
give irrevocable undertakings to accept any offers which may be made by GERE at
280p per ordinary share and £103 per £100 nominal of Stock, at the time of the
announcement of such offers.

A further announcement will be made in due course.


Benchmark Group PLC                                     020 7659 0500
Nigel Kempner, Chief Executive

HSBC Bank plc                                           020 7991 8888
Financial adviser to Benchmark
Charles Packshaw
Charles Ashton

Corporate broker to Benchmark
Heraclis Economides

Tavistock Communications Limited                        020 7920 3150
Jeremy Carey

The indications of shareholder support referred to in this announcement are not
legally binding and will only become legally binding if and when formal
irrevocable undertakings are given. Friends Provident plc and GuocoLand Limited
are not restricted from dealing in Benchmark shares or Stock and therefore the
number of shares or the nominal amount of Stock in respect of which they have
given indications or in respect of which they may in the future give irrevocable
undertakings may change.

This announcement has been approved by HSBC Bank plc ('HSBC') solely for the
purposes of section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.  HSBC,
which is regulated in the United Kingdom for the conduct of investment business
by the Financial Services Authority, is acting for Benchmark and no-one else in
connection with the possible offers referred to in this announcement and will
not be responsible to anyone other than Benchmark for providing the protections
afforded to customers of HSBC or for providing advice in relation to such
possible offers.

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange          LGDXSDGGGSB                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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