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A round up of key developments in corporate transactions covered by Lexis®PSL Corporate and Market Tracker this week, including the withdrawal of the possible offer for Intu Properties plc, a hostile bid for Faroe Petroleum plc, a listing of GDRs by Huatai Securities via a link between the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange, an IPO by investment platform AJ Bell and an update on the Investment Association’s findings on voting at the AGM and board diversity.
On 29 November, the consortium comprising the Peel Group, the Olayan Group and Brookfield Property Group (the Consortium) announced that they had withdrawn their possible cash offer for Intu Properties plc (Intu), citing ‘uncertainty around current macroeconomic conditions and the potential near-term volatility across markets’ as key factors.
In its response, Intu noted that ‘good progress’ had been made since the offer was initially announced on 4 October. The original ‘put up or shut up’ (PUSU) deadline of 1 November had been extended three times, in which time the Consortium had largely completed its due diligence. Intu stated that the Consortium had confirmed on 21 November that ‘nothing had arisen from its due diligence workstreams that would lead it to alter the terms of its revised indicative proposal of 210.4 pence per share’. Despite this, the Consortium eventually concluded that they felt unable ‘to proceed with an offer within a timeframe which is manageable within the confines of the Code timetable’.
This is the second failed offer for Intu, following Hammerson’s withdrawal from acquiring Intu in April 2018. Hammerson cited the deterioration of the UK property market as the primary reason behind the decision not to go ahead with the offer, stating that ‘the equity market now perceives a heightened level of risk associated with the UK retail property sector as a whole.’
Intu took the opportunity in its response to the withdrawal of the offer by the Consortium to reassure
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