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Shopping centre operator sees off takeover bid paving way to buy Chapelfield owner Intu

PUBLISHED: 09:14 13 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:14 13 April 2018

Hammerson is no longer seeking a tie-up with Intu, which operates the Chapelfield Shopping Centre in Norwich  Photo: Antony Kelly

Hammerson is no longer seeking a tie-up with Intu, which operates the Chapelfield Shopping Centre in Norwich Photo: Antony Kelly

ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC © 2005

French shopping centre firm Klepierre has said it does not intend to make a formal offer for Hammerson, paving the way for the Bullring owner to seal a tie up with Chapelfield shopping centre owner Intu.

Klepierre said on Friday that its chairman Jean-Marc Jestin held a meeting with his Hammerson counterpart David Tyler on Monday to table a £5.04bn proposal worth 635p per share.

However, following the meeting, it is walking away because Hammerson “did not provide any meaningful engagement”.

Klepierre said in a stock exchange announcement: “The board of Hammerson did not provide any meaningful engagement with respect to the increased proposal and, after careful consideration, Klepierre has concluded that it does not intend to make an offer for Hammerson.”

The latest figure, an advance on Klepierre initial 615p cash-and-shares bid worth £4.88bn, represented a premium of 45% to Hammerson’s share price March 16.

But Hammerson has branded Klepierre’s overtures as “wholly inadequate” and “entirely opportunistic”.

Mr Tyler said earlier this week: “The board has considered the revised proposal from Klepierre carefully.

“At 635p, it is only a 3% increase on the previous proposal and continues very significantly to undervalue the company.”

Klepierre’s decision to back off paves the way for Hammerson’s preferred option of a £3.4bn tie-up with rival Intu, which operates the Trafford Centre in Manchester.

Hammerson is now expected to press ahead with an all-share takeover of Intu, which would create Britain’s biggest property company with £21bn worth of assets across Europe that includes Bicester Village and Brent Cross shopping centres.

Hammerson shares plummeted over 13% shortly after market open to 453p.

Intu’s stock was trading broadly flat.

David Brockton, analyst at Liberum, said: “Klepierre’s decision to walk away from a bid could still leave Hammerson’s management and shareholders in an unfortunate short-term position.

“The market has clearly taken a negative view of Hammerson’s proposed acquisition of Intu.

“However, if the Intu deal does not complete, it would be a rejection of management’s vision.

“It will take some doing for the shares to achieve Klepierre’s 635p second proposal in the near-term.”

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