Shopping mall owner rejects £5bn French takeover bid

Shopping mall owner rejects £5bn French takeover bid

In a statement confirming media speculation, Klepierre said its 615p a share offer, which represents a premium of around 40.7% to Hammerson's closing price last Friday, was made on March 8.

Europe-focused shopping centre firm Klepierre made a takeover approach for United Kingdom peer Hammerson PLC a fortnight ago in the middle of Hammerson's own GBP3.40 billion deal to buy Intu Properties PLC, the Times reported on Friday.

Matthew Saperia, analyst at Peel Hunt, said: "Despite the board rejection [of the Kléppiere offer], Hammerson is now in play and the likelihood of its proposed merger with Intu Properties proceeding has decreased considerably".

Klépierre said in a statement that the proposal did not constitute an offer or impose any obligation on Klépierre to make an offer.

The acquisition will result in Hammerson shareholders owning 55% of the combined firm and Intu investors the remainder.

Hammerson is in the midst of closing its own acquisition, having reached a multibillion-dollar deal in December to buy rival United Kingdom property firm Intu Properties.

Shares in Hammerson were up 24% in afternoon trading, while Klépierre was down nearly 4%.

However, the move comes at a tough time for Hammerson, which has been relegated to the FTSE 250 Index after seeing its share price slide in response to market concerns over the woes on the high street.

Hammerson also announced last month a 6.9 per cent rise in net rental income for the year to December 31 to £370.4 million, up from £346.5 million a year earlier.

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