Madison supports Qatari bid for Canary Wharf owner Songbird

Kasmira Jefford
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Songbird holds 69 per cent of Canary Wharf Group, the owner of the east London district

Madison International Realty has become the second shareholder in Songbird Estates to break ranks with the company and back Qatar Investment Authority’s (QIA) £2.6bn offer for the Canary Wharf owner.

QIA and Brookfield Property Partners went hostile last week in their attempt to take control of Songbird after taking their higher offer of 350p per share directly to shareholders. The pair said yesterday that Madison had written a letter to Songbird saying that it intended to accept the offer before its closing date.

The investment firm owns over 18.6m Songbird shares, representing around 12 per cent of the free float and 2.5 per cent of the company.

Third Avenue Management, a shareholder with a 3.5 per cent stake, has also come out in favour of the bid, giving the bidders support from holders of 28 per cent of Songbird’s free float.

But QIA still needs to win over one of the three major shareholders – Morgan Stanley, China Investment Corporation and Glick Entities – to gain a controlling stake.

Songbird did not formally reject the raised 350p offer. However, it responded on Friday saying it did not reflect Songbird’s full value, considered to be 381p per share.

Shares closed at 340p yesterday.

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