Property group Hammerson has made a recommended £3.4bn offer for rival Intu, in a deal the groups say will create a £21bn portfolio of retail developments across Europe.
Shares in Hammerson dropped 3.5 per cent this morning, while Intu's stock jumped more than 18 per cent.
Hammerson has offered 253.9p per Intu share, equivalent to £3.4 billion for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of the Trafford Centre owner.
The combined group will be led by Hammerson chief executive David Atkins and Timon Drakesmith, the firm's chief financial officer, and will be called Hammerson plc.
David Tyler, chairman of Hammerson, will be chairman of the enlarged group, and John Whittaker, deputy chairman of Intu, will be deputy chair of the new company. John Strachan, chairman of Intu, will join the board of the combined group as senior independent director. The newly created company overall will have six directors nominated by Hammerson and four directors nominated by Intu.
"This marks an exciting milestone in the history of Hammerson. Bringing together the high-quality portfolios of both companies establishes Hammerson as a larger, leading European retail REIT, enhances shareholder returns and supports opportunities for long-term growth," said David Atkins, chief executive of Hammerson.
"The acquisition creates a leading pan-European platform of desirable retail and leisure destinations which are better positioned to serve the needs of our retailers, excite our customers and support our partners and communities. I hold Intu's high-quality centres in high regard and I look forward to working with a strengthened team to enhance the performance of our entire portfolio."
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