Hammerson CEO David Atkins, centre. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Hammerson CEO David Atkins, centre. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

Hammerson, owner of European shopping centres, is continuing with its plan to take over Intu Properties, as it aims to enhance its British asset base.

The group released a business update for the first quarter of 2018 on Thursday in which it said it would continue to pursue Intu Properties.

There had been suggestions that its mission to become a property company worth more than R100bn would be derailed by an offer from French group Klépierre to take over Hammerson itself.

Hammerson scoffed at Klépierre’s £4.9bn takeover bid, which was made by the €10.34bn company in March, saying it was opportunistic and undervalued Hammerson.

It deemed the bid a "highly preliminary and nonbinding proposal", it said at the time.

Hammerson’s market capitalisation was about €3.4bn at the end of trade on Thursday.

Hammerson CEO David Atkins said he was yet to hear anything new from Klépierre since the offer was rebuffed.

"While Klépierre’s position remains unclear, the board of Hammerson does not intend to finalise shareholder documents in relation to the proposed acquisition of Intu," the board wrote.

Klépierre had until April 16 to either make a formal offer for Hammerson or back down, which means Hammerson’s continuing merger process with Intu is still in progress, but on hold for a few days.

"We are not intending to finalise shareholder documents ahead of the Pusu [put up or shut up] deadline of April 16," Atkins said.

Hammerson had made a £3.4bn all-share offer for Intu in a deal that would bring together the UK’s largest shopping centres into one fund, which includes London’s Brent Cross, Birmingham’s Bullring and Manchester’s Trafford Centre.

Hammerson said its growth markets of premium outlets and the Republic of Ireland were driving valuation growth.