Hammerson share price hammered after French firm Klepierre drops takeover bid

Business

Shares in shopping centre owner Hammerson tumbled this morning after French group Klepierre abandoned its proposed takeover of the group.

The stock was down more than 13 per cent in early trading, after Klepierre said it no longer intends to make an offer for Hammerson, following two rejected bids.

The French firm had initially offered 615p per Hammerson share, which the UK group rejected last month on the grounds that it “very significantly” undervalued the company. Klepierre followed up this week with a revised offer of 635p per share, bring the deals value to £5bn, which was also rejected.

On Friday, Klepierre said it was giving up its pursuit of Hammerson, which owns shopping centres such as Brent Cross, Birmingham’s Bull Ring and Bristol’s Cabot Circus, because the British group’s board “did not provide any meaningful engagement with respect to the increased proposal”.

With Klepierre backing down, Hammerson is now free to push ahead with its £3.4bn purchase of rival Intu, the owner of Manchester’s Trafford Centre, which was put on hold while the company dealt with its own prospective buyer.

AJ Bell, investment director Russ Mould, said: “By turning down the bid, (Hammerson’s) management have increased the pressure on themselves to get the tie-up with Intu right.”

Meanwhile, David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets, added: “Retail centres are experiencing a decline in footfall as online shopping continues to rise. Consolidation in the sector may be a way to fend off the pressure, but now Hammerson will have to explore other options to try and buck the downward trend the stock has been in for three years.”

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