October 18, 2012 / 7:37 PM / in 5 years

Simon Property sells CSC stake: source

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shopping centre owner Simon Property Group Inc (SPG.N) has sold out of Capital Shopping Centres Group Plc CSCG.L, almost two years after it attempted a 2.9 billion pound ($4.7 billion) takeover of the British mall developer, a source familiar with the deal said.

J.P. Morgan Cazenove analysts said on Thursday that Simon Property placed 35.3 million shares at 328-330 pence in Capital Shopping Centres, a 3.4 percent discount to Wednesday’s closing price.

The source said the placing marked Simon Property’s full exit from its 5 percent stake in CSC and an announcement would likely be made on Friday.

CSC rebuffed Simon Property’s takeover offer in November 2010, souring relations between the companies. In March, Simon turned around and staked its claim on Europe, buying a 28.7 percent stake in Klepierre SA (LOIM.PA), Europe’s second-largest retail real estate owner.

Simon Property also sold its full stake in Capital & Counties Properites Plc (CAPCC.L), owner of London’s tourist hotspot Covent Garden, through a separate placing, the source said. The two sales raised about 200 million pounds in total.

At about $320 million, the amount is not significant for Simon, the No. U.S. mall and outlet center owner, said Green Street Advisors analyst Cedrik Lachance.

“It removes perhaps a question that people had had: Would they eventually try to go after the company?” Lachance said. “It’s not a material transaction given it’s about a half percentage point of the company’s size.”

    Simon Property acquired its holdings in the two companies in 2008 when it bought a 5 percent stake in Liberty International, which two years later demerged into Capital Shopping Centres and Capital & Counties.

    Both UK companies declined to comment. Simon Property did not respond to call seeking comment.

    Shares of Simon were up 0.64 percent at $153.83 in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange; Capital Shopping Centres closed down 1.8 percent at 329.6 GBP, and Capital & Counties closed down 3.6 percent at 225.76 GBP on the London Stock Exchange.

    Reporting by Brenda Goh in London and Ilaina Jonas in New York; Editing by Dan Lalor and Leslie Gevirtz

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