PROPERTY development and investment company Hammerson has placed a £3.4 billion bid for rival Intu Properties which owns the Trafford Centre and Manchester Arndale.

The proposed bid has not been confirmed as of yet, as Hammerson need 75% approval from Intu shareholders and are said to have about 50% at the moment.

The takeover deal would mean that Hammerson will have a portfolio of retail developments across Europe worth  £21 billion.

John Strachan, chairman of Intu and proposed Senior Independent Director of the Enlarged Group, said:  “A combination of both Intu and Hammerson will create a more resilient, diversified and stronger group that we believe will benefit all our stakeholders.

“Intu offers high-quality retail and leisure destinations in the UK and Spain, which when merged with Hammerson’s own top-quality assets in the UK, in France and in Ireland, present a highly attractive proposition for retailers and shoppers in Europe’s leading cities.

“I am proud of the financial and operational success that Intu’s management team has delivered and pleased to see that the Intu brand will continue.”

Hammerson is to offer 253.9p per Intu share which values Intu at £3.4 billionn.

Hammerson’s PR said everything is expected to be “business as usual at the moment” at the Manchester sites.

If the deal goes ahead it is likely to be made  in the last quarter of 2018. An enlarged company would be expected to offer “more than just shops and tills” and would be an improvement for retailers as they can offer a “more informed view of what people need”.

David Tyler, chairman of Hammerson, said: “This transaction will deliver real value for shareholders. The financial strength of the Enlarged Group and its strong leadership team will make it well-placed to take advantage of higher growth opportunities on a panEuropean scale.”

Bury-born John Whittaker looks to be very comfortable with the new merger, he sold the Trafford Centre to General Shopping Centres, now Intu, in January 2011. In the terms of the deal valued at £1.6bn, his company Peel, took shares in GSC worth £636 billion and joined its board as deputy chairman. He’s now expected to have the same role in the new enlarged company and Peel will hold 15 per cent stakes.

Hammerson currently own many top shopping centres in the UK such as Bicester Village and the Birmingham Bullring, as well as centres in Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Munich.

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