Klépierre walks away from Hammerson, Intu merger to go ahead

It may not have been good news for the Hammerson share price, but news on Friday that French retail property giant Klépierre is walking away from making another bid for the company probably came as some relief to the Hammerson board. Presumably, this now means that its planned merger with smaller peer Intu can go ahead.


The Grand Central mall in Birmingham - Hammerson


The French company had wanted to create one of the biggest retail property owners in Europe but its UK target was having none of it and it said that the company’s two offers both significantly undervalued it.

Whether that's the case or not is something we will learn in the months and years ahead as the merged Hammerson-Intu works hard to overcome the malaise in UK retail and extract as much value as possible from a sector that is being hit hard by the shift to online shopping.

Klépierre had valued Hammerson at around £5 billion and was verbally offering 635p per share, a level the company’s shares haven't actually reached since autumn 2015. And on Friday after its French suitor threw in the towel, the shares fell around 13% to trade at less than 465p each.

“The board of Hammerson did not provide any meaningful engagement with respect to the increased proposal and, after careful consideration, Klépierre has concluded that it does not intend to make an offer,” the French company said.

Analysts said that Klépierre had been keen to take advantage of Hammerson’s weak share price that is a result of investor concerns over the rise of online shopping and also their concerns over the Intu acquisition.

The Hammerson-Intu deal will now creates the largest listed landlord in the UK.

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