Mall owners Simon, Taubman see stocks surge after revised takeover

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Shopping mall giants Simon Property Group and Taubman Centers saw their stock prices spike Monday as they rescued a merger that was nearly scuttled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Simon shares surged as much as 10.3 percent to $82.42 and Taubman’s climbed as much as 8.3 percent to $42.76 after announcing revised terms of the cash acquisition that will see Simon pay about 18 percent less to take over its smaller rival.

The massive mall owner will now buy Taubman’s common stock for about $2.6 billion, or $43 per share, down from the initial price of $52.50. The Taubman family will sell about a third of its existing stake at that price but hold onto 20 percent of its eponymous business while Simon will own the remaining 80 percent.

The deal also ends a pending legal battle that kicked off in June when Simon filed a lawsuit to abandon the tie-up, saying the COVID-19 crisis had disproportionately hammered Taubman’s malls.

Indianapolis-based Simon — which has more than 200 malls, outlet centers and other properties in the US — also accused Michigan-based Taubman of not making the cuts necessary to mitigate the pandemic’s impact.

Taubman, whose portfolio includes 26 malls in the US and Asia, rejected the claims in its own lawsuit saying Simon’s attempt to terminate the deal was meritless.

The revised deal, expected to close late this year or early next year, was the second major acquisition in less than a month to be salvaged after one party threatened to walk away because of the pandemic.

Luxury conglomerate LVMH’s takeover of high-end jeweler Tiffany & Co. was also under threat of falling apart due to the pandemic before moving forward last month after the companies agreed to drop the purchase price from $135 per share to $131.50.

With Post wires

A Global Asset Management Seoul Korea Magazine

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