Qatar and Canada draw new support as they go hostile for Songbird Estates

Fate of £2.6 billion hostile bid will depend on independent shareholders switching allegiances

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Qatar and Canada have secured more backing for their £2.6 billion hostile bid for Canary Wharf developer Songbird Estates, but they remain well short of the finish line in the battle for control.

The Qatar Investment Authority and Canada’s Brookfield have appealed directly to shareholders with a 350p a share “take it or leave it” offer for Songbird, which is a 69 per cent shareholder in Docklands developer and landlord Canary Wharf Group.

The QIA already owns 28.6 per cent of Songbird but today announced backing from US property investor Madison, which owns 2.5 per cent.

With hedge fund Third Avenue also on side, the bidders can count on around 34.5 per cent of the company’s shares, but the fate of the offer will depend on one of Songbird’s major independent shareholders switching allegiances.

The US investor Simon Glick has 25.1 per cent, China Investment Corporation 15.8 per cent and Morgan Stanley 8.5 per cent. Because the bidders have declared their offer final, they are not allowed to raise it under takeover rules.