Unibail secures merger with Rodamco Europe

AMSTERDAM Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:36am EDT

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Property groups Unibail and Rodamco Europe have succeeded in creating Europe's biggest listed property company as 79.6 percent of Rodamco shares have been tendered for Unibail's offer, the firms said on Thursday.

"The combination between Unibail and Rodamco is therefore unconditional and shall be effective on the date of settlement, being 25 June 2007," French Unibail Holding S.A. UNBP.PA and Dutch Rodamco Europe N.V. RDMB.AS said in a statement.

The deadline for tendering shares was Wednesday.

The combined property firm will have a market capitalization of about $24.7 billion, topping Britain's Land Securities (LAND.L) and British Land (BLND.L), which are valued at $17.1 billion and $14.5 billion respectively, according to Reuters data.

Some analysts have said a counterbid might be made for Rodamco Europe, citing Australia's Westfield Group's (WDC.AX) A$3 billion ($2.5 billion) capital raising last week, but this possibility has now become less likely.

"There have been many rumors and one cited the chance of a counter offer. Some investors had held their shares for this possibility. They will now tender them," said Citigroup analyst Philippe Le Trung.

Unibail extended the period for remaining Rodamco Europe shareholders to tender their shares until July 10 for the same price as the initial offer, being 0.5223 Unibail shares for each Rodamco Europe share, Unibail and Rodamco Europe said.

It will no longer be possible for Rodamco Europe shareholders to tender their shares in exchange for 0.5223 convertible Unibail bonds as the maximum amount of convertibles to be issued has been reached, the two companies said.

Unibail-Rodamco will be the new name for the combined company as of next week's settlement date, Unibail and Rodamco Europe said.

The two firms said that they plan to delist Rodamco Europe shares from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and Euronext exchanges in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.

Unibail and Rodamco said they expected Unibail Shares to start trading on Euronext Amsterdam and Paris on June 22.

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