Simon told to put up or shut up over Capital Shopping Centres

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The Independent Online

Simon Property Group, the world's largest owner of shopping centres, has until 12 January to make a firm offer for the UK's Capital Shopping Centres following its indicative £2.9bn bid on Wednesday.

The bid, deemed too low by analysts, came three weeks after Simon's chief executive, David Simon, asked Capital to delay a proposed £1.6bn purchase of Manchester's Trafford Centre from John Whittaker's Peel Group to give it time to prepare a potential cash offer.

The shareholder meeting to vote on the Trafford Centre purchase, which was due to take place on Monday, has been postponed until late January.

The Trafford deal proposes that Peel Group will take a 25 per cent stake in Capital in return for the 1.9m sq ft shopping centre.

Mr Simon said the 425p a share offer for Capital is "a full and fair valuation and is at a substantial premium" to the 367p that Capital is proposing to issue for Peel Group's 25 per cent stake.

Analysts suggest Australian shopping centre owner Westfield, which has just under 3 per cent holding in Capital, could also be looking at making a bid. Some analysts believe Simon will up its bid before the deadline.

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