BLOOMFIELD HILLS (AP) – Taubman Centers Inc. yesterday decried rival shopping mall developer Simon Property Group Inc.’s decision to extend its $1.7-billion hostile takeover bid, saying it continues to oppose the offer.

Taubman said Indianapolis-based Simon and its takeover partner Westfield America Inc. still don’t have enough support for the bid and reiterated the decision by Taubman’s board to encourage shareholders to reject the offer.

“(The board) does not believe that maximum value will be realized by selling the company at this time,” Taubman said in a statement.

A spokesman for Simon, which last week announced it was extending its $20 per-share cash offer until Oct. 31, declined to comment on the latest Taubman statement.

Legislation that would change the state’s takeover law and help Taubman fend off the takeover cleared the state Senate last month and has been sent to Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who has until today to decide on whether to sign the bill.

The bill would change Michigan takeover law to say that shareholders acting together do not violate the law, but it would be against the law for a group to act together with the purpose of acquiring additional shares.

Simon opposed the measure, while Taubman Centers supported the bill. Taubman family members and friends want to be able to vote any of their 33.6 percent controlling block without first receiving approval from the company’s other public shareholders.

The takeover would require a two-thirds shareholder vote in favor of the bid.

Simon, North America’s largest shopping mall owner, began its hostile takeover effort last November.

Taubman, based in Bloomfield Hills, is a much smaller rival that owns high-end mall properties Simon wants for its portfolio.


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