UPDATE 1-Hammerson yet to finalise Intu deal; awaits clarity on Klepierre bid


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(Reuters) – Britain’s Hammerson Plc (HMSO.L) on Thursday said it did not intend to finalize shareholder documents related to its proposed acquisition of Intu Properties (INTUP.L), as it awaits clarity on a bid from France’s Klepierre (LOIM.PA).

The U.K. shopping center owner rejected a 4.9-billion-pound ($6.89 billion) bid from the French company in March, months after it set out to buy smaller rival Intu.

Hammerson said the so-called put up or shut up (PUSU) deadline for Klépierre is April 16.

When the Klepierre bid was disclosed, Hammerson had said it remained “fully committed” to the acquisition of Intu, the owner of Manchester’s Trafford Centre.

Britain’s retail sector has turned toxic in a climate of squeezed consumer spending laced with Brexit uncertainty.

Shopping center operators are grappling with fierce competition from online retailers such as Amazon, a rivalry that is driving consolidation across the commercial property sector.

“Whilst we recognize the difficult trading environment and challenges felt by many retail and restaurant formats in the UK, there continues to be good demand for space across our centres,” Hammerson said on Thursday.

The company, which owns Bristol’s Cabot Circus, said the year began well with leases signed totaling 7 million pounds in the first three months of 2018, up 59 percent from a year earlier.

Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair


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