Simon Property Group Inc., the largest shopping mall owner in the United States, said Wednesday it offered $4.74 billion for Britain's Capital Shopping Centres Group PLC which promptly rejected the bid.
The British retail property owner called the offer an attempt to thwart its acquisition of shopping center Trafford Centre in Manchester in the United Kingdom and said it undervalues the company and its prospects.
Simon Chairman and Chief Executive David Simon sent a letter to CSC with its offer of 425 pence per share plus the 10-pence final dividend. That totals 3.01 billion British pounds and represents a 7 percent premium to CSC's closing price on Tuesday. The deal is still subject to Simon board approval, due diligence and the condition that the Trafford acquisition does not go through.
Indianapolis-based Simon already holds a more than 5.1 per cent stake in CSC. It has been fighting the Trafford acquisition since it was announced late last month. In previous letters to CSC, Simon said CSC is paying too much for the shopping mall, and the funding will dilute shares and give too much control to the seller, the U.K.-based infrastructure, transport and real estate company Peel Group. Last week, Simon offered alternative financing for Trafford.
In November, CSC agreed to pay about $1.18 billion for Trafford and assume approximately $1.33 billion in debt and liabilities, according to Simon. CSC planned to issue up to 224.1 million shares to finance the transaction, Simon said.
The deal would allow Peel Group to become the controlling shareholder with a 19.9 percent interest and its chairman John Whittaker to become deputy chairman of CSC's board, according to Peel's news release on the agreement.
Shares of Simon fell $1.43 to $96.24 in midday trading Wednesday.
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