EDINBURGH-based rental property specialist Sigma Capital is being sold to a private equity heavyweight in a deal that values the company at £188m.

Directors have recommended a 202.1p per share cash offer from funds managed by the PineBridge Benson Elliot property investment business.

The offer values the holding of Sigma chief executive Graham Barnett at around £12.5m.

It provides vindication for Sigma’s decision to focus on rental property. The company was quick to spot the potential of the private rented sector amid pressure on housing in the UK.

READ MORE: Scots housebuilding giant grows landbank through acquisition

Mr Barnet said Sigma has been a pioneer in the delivery of new, single-family homes and has created an unrivalled property delivery and management platform.

Sigma has delivered around 5,400 new homes for rent, working with partners in the building sector, investors and local authorities. It has worked on a range of regeneration projects. The company was created as a technology investment business in 1996.

HeraldScotland: Sigma Capital chief executive Graham BarnetSigma Capital chief executive Graham Barnet

Directors agreed the terms of the proposed deal with PineBridge after launching a sale process that they said attracted interest from multiple well-funded parties

However, there will be disappointment in Scotland at the prospect of the loss of another stock market-listed business. Edinburgh-based financial technology firm Nucleus Financial is being acquired by a rival based in England for £145m.

READ MORE: Employees of fintech express 'significant anxiety' about pospect of it being taken over

The offer for Sigma Capital is subject to approval by shareholders.

The announcement of the recommended offer states that the bidder has no plans to change the location or functions of Sigma’s trading headquarters in Edinburgh. Mr Barnet and other members of the management team will remain with the business.

Shares in Sigma Capital closed up 35 per cent, 52p, at 201p.

They sold for an average 139.5p  in the six months to June 10.

If the deal goes head it may generate a big windfall for the Methodist Church. Sigma Capital’s website notes that the church owns around 4.4m shares. The 202.1p bid values the holding at around £9m.