Hammerson to take over Intu

The intu Merry Hill shopping centre is to become part of an enlarged £21bn group

He's spent his life in shopping centres, doing all the usual stuff: going up the wrong escalators, knocking over invisible three-year-olds and walking into airless shops, staring blankly for a bit, and walking out again.

Hammerson boss David Atkins will lead the combined group.

Hammerson chairman David Tyler said: "This transaction will deliver real value for shareholders".

According to BBC News, the takeover will create the UK's largest property company with a value of £21bn. Intu's deputy chairman John Whittaker will be given the same role in the enlarged company, while its chairman John Strachan will join the board as senior non-executive director.

Intu's portfolio includes Lakeside Thurrock, Merry Hill in Dudley, the Gateshead Metrocentre and the Trafford Centre in Manchester.

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The combined group will target fast-growing markets in Spain and Ireland. Hammerson shareholders will own 55% of the combined firm and Intu shareholders will retain 45%.

If the proposed deal goes ahead, Intu's shareholders will receive 0.475 shares in the new business for each of their Intu shares.

Atkins said: "This marks an exciting milestone in the history of Hammerson".

"I hold Intu's high-quality centres in high regard and I look forward to working with a strengthened team to enhance the performance of our entire portfolio". Queensland Investment Corporation retained the other half until intu agreed to acquire the remaining 50 per cent previous year in a £410m deal.

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