The different levels of a new Debenhams department store are seen at Intu Properties' Watford shopping centre. Picture: PETER NICHOLLS/REUTERS
The different levels of a new Debenhams department store are seen at Intu Properties' Watford shopping centre. Picture: PETER NICHOLLS/REUTERS

Intu’s share price crashed 21% to R26.60 on Thursday morning after announcing that a group of investors has decided against buying the property group.

The JSE-listed UK shopping centre owner issued a statement on Thursday morning saying a consortium of investors who were considering making its shareholders an offer had terminated the deal.

This followed fellow JSE-listed UK shopping centre owner Hammerson’s decision to call off a proposed acquisition of Intu in April.

Image: Iress

After jumping to R44 in December after the possible acquisition by Hammerson was announced and then sliding to R28, Intu’s share price rebounded in October when the new suitor emerged.

On October 5, Intu issued a statement confirming a consortium consisting of Peel, Olayan and Brookfield Property were considering making an offer to buy its shares.

Thursday’s statement said: “The consortium hereby states that it does not intend to make an offer for the issued share capital of Intu not already owned by members of the consortium.” 

The consortium owns 29.9% of Intu, placing it just under the 30% level that would trigger a mandatory offer to remaining shareholders under the JSE’s rules.

Intu’s recent woes included the new owner of department store chain House of Fraser terminating leases at four of its malls.

“The consortium is highly appreciative of the co-operation shown by Intu’s board of directors and management team over the past six weeks. However, given the uncertainty around current macroeconomic conditions and the potential near-term volatility across markets, the consortium is not able to proceed with an offer within a time frame which is manageable within the confines of the code timetable,” the statement said.

laingr@businesslive.co.za