November 13, 2017 / 4:20 PM / a year ago

Spanish property group Colonial launches $1.7 billion bid for rival Axiare

(Reuters) - Spanish office buildings owner Inmobiliaria Colonial (COL.MC) said on Monday it has launched a takeover bid for Axiare Patrimonio AXIA.MC, valuing the rival company at 1.46 billion euros ($1.70 billion).

Colonial, which already owns nearly 29 percent of Axiare after buying an additional 13.3 percent from its own former shareholders, said it was offering 18.50 euros in cash for the remaining shares, a 13 percent premium to Friday’s closing price.

Axiare’s share price jumped as much as 15.5 percent to a record high of 18.89 euros, before slipping back to 18.48 euros by 1606 GMT, when shares in Colonial were down 2 percent at 7.54 euros.

Analysts said the deal could spark further deals in the sector, with shares in Lar Espana (LRES.MC) up 1.6 percent on Monday.

“With this transaction, Colonial consolidates its position as the leading European platform for the prime office market in Paris, Madrid and Barcelona,” Colonial said in a statement.

Colonial, which recently announced plans to move its headquarters to Madrid from Barcelona, where Catalonia’s local government is in turmoil over its attempt to split from Spain, said the transaction was fully financed through a combination of equity, bonds and the disposal of non-core assets.

“We believe that Colonial is paying a fair price for the company,” a Banco Sabadell analyst said in a note.

Axiare did not issue a response on the move and could not immediately be reached for comment.

Colonial had not discussed the structuring of the deal with Axiare’s management, Colonial’s chief executive, Pere Vinolas Serra, said on a conference call. Colonial expects to close the deal during the first half of 2018.

J.P. Morgan is the financial adviser to Colonial on the deal.

($1 = 0.8586 euros)

Reporting by Joanna Jonczyk-Gwizdala in Gdynia; Editing by Jane Merriman, Greg Mahlich

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