Third shareholder gets into bed with Qataris over Canary Wharf deal

 
Emma Haslett
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A source close to the deal has previously said Songbird is unlikely to accept an offer lower than 400p per share (Source: Getty)

The Qatari sovereign wealth fund has persuaded yet another shareholder to back its 350p-a-share offer for Songbird Estates, the owner of Canary Wharf.

The offer, from a joint venture between the Qatar Investment Authority and Brookfield Property Partners, has already had backing from Madison International Realty and Third Avenue Management.

The latest expression of support, from EMS Capital, takes backing for its bid up to 31.6 per cent of the free float.

The complex management structure of Canary Wharf means the Qataris and Brookfield already have large stakes in the estate. Brookfield owns 22 per cent of Canary Wharf Group, the company which owns the estate, whose portfolio is thought to be worth £6.3bn.

The Qataris, meanwhile, own a 28.6 per cent share of Songbird.

Will the upsurge in shareholder support for the bid be enough to change Songbird's mind? Sources close to the deal told City A.M. back in November it would only accept an offer "upwards of 400p per share". A two-year forecast by financial analysts has valued it at 432p a share.

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