European shopping centre owner Hammerson’s pursuit of UK mall group Intu Properties is back on track, following the withdrawal of Klépierre’s interest in buying Hammerson itself. Klépierre said on Friday it did not intend to make a formal offer for Hammerson, having made two takeover bids over the past few weeks. Analysts have said these "opportunistic bids" were intended to derail Hammerson’s plan to buy Intu, which owns highly rated UK shopping centres. Klépierre would have to compete with a much larger Hammerson if the takeover of Intu was successful. Hammerson’s share price fell as much as 13% to R77.04 on the JSE on Friday morning, as investors responded to news that the French suitor had abandoned its mission. Klépierre first bid £6.15 per Hammerson share on March 19. It then increased this offer on April 11 to £6.35 per share, to be paid half in cash and half in shares. Klépierre said its chairman, Jean-Marc Jestin, had met his Hammerson counterpart, David Tyler, at the begin...

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