Intu Properties considers new takeover offer from consortium

A consortium of investors has increased their offer to take JSE-listed Intu private.

JSE-listed shopping centre owner Intu Properties said on Friday that it was considering a takeover offer from a consortium led by its deputy chairman John Whittaker.

Intu said the takeover offer, which is backed by the Peel Group, the Olayan Group and Brookfield Property Group (the consortium), has been increased by 4.8 percent to £2.15. The consortium, which wants to take Intu private, initially made an offer of £2.05 per Intu share on October 11.

The new offer sent its shares 12 percent higher during Friday’s intra-day trade on the JSE. Intu is also listed on the London Stock Exchange.

At Friday morning’s exchange rate of R18.77/£ (10:59), the consortium’s offer equates to R40.36, which is higher than the value of Intu’s shares of R37.10 at the time of writing.

Earlier this year, Intu’s larger rival Hammerson made and dropped its offer of £2.54 per Intu share.  Intu has been under pressure from the move by consumers to shop online, which has resulted in a downturn of bricks-and-mortar shopping. The mounting pressure on Intu saw its CEO David Fischel resign in July as the company faced financial losses and warned of lower growth in the rental income of its shopping centres.  

The consortium has been granted access to Intu’s documents to conduct a due diligence process with a view of making a firm offer. “A further announcement will be made when appropriate,” Intu said in a statement.

Intu’s shares have risen by 29.9 percent on the JSE since the consortium first confirmed on October 4 that it was considering a takeover offer.