Hammerson, owner of Birmingham’s Bullring, is no longer urging its shareholders to vote in favour of acquiring its rival.
The news comes months after Hammerson announced an all-share offer for intu, owner of the Trafford Centre in Manchester. The proposed £3.4b takeover would have created the UK’s biggest property company, worth £21b.
Hammerson stated: “The proposed Intu acquisition is no longer in the best interests of shareholders.”
In early morning trading in London, shares in Hammerson were up by 3.57%, but those of Intu were down by 7%.
Among the reasons Hammerson gave for withdrawing its recommendation was that the stock market’s view of the retail property market had “deteriorated” since the turn of the year.
“This perception has been intensified by market concerns over the extended period of time that it would take to complete the transaction and realise longer-term returns from the Intu acquisition,” it said.
The combined group would have been led by Hammerson chief executive David Atkins and chaired by its chairman, David Tyler.
Hammerson’s offer for Intu will lapse if its shareholders do not approve the purchase when they meet.
The development comes not long after French shopping centre operator Klepierre abandoned a £5b bid for Hammerson.
Hammerson also owns the Bicester Village designer outlet and London’s Brent Cross shopping centre, while Intu also owns the Lakeside shopping centre in Essex.