Simon tries to charm Capital shareholders

Marion Dakers
N Pr

N Property will begin an international push to lure Capital Shopping Centres’ shareholders into accepting a takeover this week, after regulators imposed a 12 January deadline for a formal offer.

Simon’s advisers on the deal – Citigroup, Lazard and Evercore – are set to meet with CSC shareholders in the UK and South Africa to convince them of the £3bn indicative offer’s value.

Capital’s largest shareholders include Donald Gordon, the South African boss of former CSC parent Liberty International, as well as property funds based in South Africa and run by Investec, Sanlam and Coronation Asset Management.

Large stakeholders in the UK include BlackRock and Legal & General, alongside Simon Property itself, which owns a 6.25 per cent stake.

A number of analysts have said that large shareholders are unlikely to part with their stakes for cash because the exposure to the UK property market is more valuable.

Several others, including Seymour Pierce and Evolution, have argued that Simon’s indicative offer of 425p per share must rise before investors will agree to sell.

Simon is reported to be considering raising its bid to 435p a share, though the company yesterday played down talk of a sweetened offer.

The Takeover Panel issued a “put up or shut up” notice on Friday amid concerns that Simon is attempting to frustrate CSC’s £1.6bn purchase of the Trafford Centre in Manchester.