Proposed acquisition of Hammerson rejected

European real estate trust company Klépierre has this morning confirmed that its proposed acquisition of Hammerson, the owners of Victoria Gate shopping centre in Leeds, was rejected in just 24 hours.

The French company, which specialises in shopping centres, now has until 16 April to make a firm intention to acquire Hammerson, or to confirm it will not make a counter offer.

Hammerson, which opened owns Victoria Gate in Leeds in October 2016, owns a host of UK shopping centres including the Bullring in Birmingham. The company announced in December that it was to buy rival Intu  – creating a £21bn company.

Klépierre said that on 8 March, it had made a proposal on a non-adversarial basis to the Board of Hammerson with the intention of “engaging in a constructive dialogue” regarding a possible offer to acquire the share capital of Hammerson. The bid value stands at £5bn.

The proposal represented a premium of 40.7% to the closing price of 437.10 pence per Hammerson ordinary share on 16 March 2018, and the consideration would comprise a combination of cash and shares in Klépierre.

The Board of Hammerson rejected the proposal in less than 24 hours on 9 March.

This morning’s announcement said the proposal did not constitute an offer or impose any obligation on Klépierre to make an offer, nor does it evidence a firm intention to make an offer. The firm said: “Accordingly, there can be no certainty that any offer will be made.”

Today’s market announcement by Klépierre was made without the approval of Hammerson.

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