UK builder Hammerson rejects £5 bn approach from Klepierre

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British construction giant Hammerson has rejected a takeover approach from French property firm Klepierre that values it at about £5.0 billion ($7 billion, 5.7 billion euros), the firms said Monday. Klepierre, which owns scores of shopping centers around Europe, disclosed in a statement that it lodged an informal bid worth 615 pence per share on March 8 but added that Hammerson had rejected the proposal within 24 hours.

Hammerson confirmed its rejection of the bid in a statement on its website, which it slammed as “unsolicited and entirely opportunistic in its timing”. “The Board of Hammerson has unanimously rejected the Proposal on the grounds that it very significantly undervalues Hammerson, its track record of delivery, the quality of its portfolio, its market positions, and the opportunities it has for future value creation,” the British firm said.

The proposal came after Hammerson had agreed in December to buy rival Intu to create a pan-European shopping mall business, faced with increasing pressure from online retailers. Hammerson said it “remains fully committed” to the acquisition of Intu, adding that it “believes that Klepierre’s property portfolio is of materially lower quality” than its own.

The French firm’s shares dipped 3.6 percent on the Paris stock exchange in early Monday morning trade to 33.51 euros. Hammerson stock however soared 26.20 percent to 551.60 pence in London.

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