Whittaker wins as £1.6bn Trafford Centre sale approved

SHAREHOLDERS in Capital Shopping Centres, the parent company of the Arndale Centre, have backed the £1.6bn acquisition of The Trafford Centre.

The deal – which CSC shareholder US-based Simon Property Group had bitterly opposed – was backed by investors holding 82% of its shares at an EGM.

Peel Group founder and chairman John Whittaker, pictured, will now become deputy chairman of CSC and the London-based company’s largest individual shareholder with a 23.2% stake.

CSC chairman Patrick Burgess, said: “I am delighted by the overwhelming supportJohn Whittaker, Peel Group from our shareholders for the acquisition of the Trafford Centre, which is value enhancing for CSC and will strengthen CSC’s position as the leading operator of pre-eminent UK regional shopping centres.

“We are glad to welcome John Whittaker to the board as deputy chairman and look forward to the contribution of his considerable expertise to the board.”

The deal, first announced in November, was expected to go through last month but it came under fire from US-based Simon Property Group which described the move as “value destructive”.

Simon, which holds 6% of CSC, hoped to derail the deal by launching a £2.9bn takeover of the business. But it walked away on January 11 claiming that CSC failed to provide due diligence information.

CSC urged shareholders to back the acquisition saying it will be in the best interests of shareholders, strengthen its position and increase its presence in the North West retail market.

Investment bank NM Rothschild’s Manchester office advised Peel Group on the landmark deal.