Qatar's new $4bn bid for Canary Wharf-owner Songbird rejected

Qatar Investment Authority and Brookfield make new offer which is still short of Songbird's own expectations
Qatar's new $4bn bid for Canary Wharf-owner Songbird rejected
(Getty Images)
By Reuters
Fri 05 Dec 2014 02:45 AM

Songbird Estates, the owner of London's Canary Wharf financial district, rejected a raised bid from Qatar's sovereign wealth fund and a North American investor that values the firm at £2.6 billion ($4 billion).

Songbird said on Friday the 350 pence per share offer from Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Brookfield Property Partners made on Thursday "does not reflect the full value of the company, its unique position and future growth potential".

Songbird is the majority owner of the Canary Wharf estate, established about 25 years ago on former docks as a financial zone. It is also part owner of the landmark "Walkie Talkie" skyscraper in the City, London's traditional business area.

In a hostile move, QIA and Brookfield took their joint all-cash offer directly to shareholders. Announced less than two hours before a deadline to submit revised bids, it represented a 33.6 percent premium to Songbird's closing share price on Nov. 5, the day they made their first approach.

Songbird said in its brief rejection response that its pro forma adjusted net asset value was 381p per share as of Nov. 27 and there were other areas of value within the company not reflected in that valuation.

The company said it will write to shareholders with its detailed view of the offer in due course.

QIA owns 28.6 percent of Songbird, while US-listed Brookfield, which operates and invests in office and industrial property, has a 22 percent stake in Canary Wharf Group.

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