Hammerson, the owner of Brent Cross shopping centre, have withdrawn their agreed offer to acquire Intu, who own the main shopping centre in Uxbridge, as well as a number of other centres across the country.
On 6 December 2017, the Board of Hammerson announced an all-share offer for Intu. However, they say they have now concluded that the proposed acquisition is “no longer in the best interests of (Hammerson) shareholders”, and have announced that they are withdrawing their recommendation to Hammerson shareholders to vote in favour of the Intu acquisition.
They say the equity market’s “perception of the broader UK retail property market has deteriorated since the start of the year”, and that this has led to “a disconnect between the Company’s share price and the fundamental value of its business and prospects”.
They also say that the time that it would take to complete the transaction and realise longer-term returns from the acquisition had caused concern.
They also cite the number of retail administrations in the past few months, and the “subdued consumer confidence”.
THis has, say Hammerson, produced concern among their shareholders, and led them to conclude that “the heightened risks associated with the Intu Acquisition outweigh the long-term rewards that can be expected in comparison to other strategic options open to the Company”.
David Tyler, Chairman of Hammerson, said: “After careful consideration, the Board has concluded it is no longer in the best interests of shareholders to carry out the Intu Acquisition.
“In recent weeks, investors have told us they share our view of the exceptional quality of our portfolio and that they have great confidence in our management team. The Board has complete conviction in Hammerson’s prospects as a standalone business as we pursue our plans for future growth.”
David Atkins, Chief Executive of Hammerson, added: “Hammerson is an ambitious company with a disciplined approach to the pursuit of compelling investments to strengthen its portfolio. It is clear that the heightened risks to the Intu Acquisition now outweigh the longer-term benefits. We have a clear strategy that has delivered consistent, strong returns on a standalone basis and we look forward to updating the market in the near term on our plans to accelerate the delivery of further value for shareholders.”