Canary Wharf suitors look to one shareholder to back £2.6bn bid

Ollie Gordon
QIA and Brookfield Partners made a new £2.6bn bid for Canary Wharf’s owner Songbird
The two bidders for Canary Wharf, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Brookfield Property Partners, are hoping to persuade one major shareholder in the east London-based financial district to accept their takeover bid.

The pair made a new hostile takeover offer for Canary Wharf-owner Songbird Estates directly to shareholders on Thursday, worth 350 pence-a-share. Songbird subsequently released a statement on Friday saying the bid “does not reflect the full value of the company”, which it considers to be 381 pence-a-share.

QIA, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, already owns 28.6 per cent of Songbird, and Brookfield has a 22 per cent stake in Canary Wharf Group. The pair needs one of the three remaining major shareholders in Songbird – namely Morgan Stanley, China Investment Corporation and New York- investor Simon Glick – to come on board to gain a controlling interest.

Sources have told City A.M. the suitors are hoping that one or both of Morgan Stanley and China Investment Corp back their latest bid, with Glick considered to be against any offer.

The all-cash bid values the company at £2.6bn, or 33 per cent above its closing share price on 5 November when QIA and Brookfield made their first approach – a 295 pence-a-share offer that was instantly rejected by Songbird.

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