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UK builder Hammerson rejects £5 bn approach from Klepierre

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Paris (AFP)

British construction giant Hammerson has rejected a takeover approach from Klepierre that values it at about £5.0 billion ($7 billion, 5.7 billion euros), the French property firm said Monday.

Klepierre, which owns scores of shopping centres around Europe, revealed in a statement that it lodged an informal bid worth 615 pence per share on March 8 -- but added that Hammerson had rejected the proposal within 24 hours.

The proposal came after Hammerson had agreed in December to buy rival Intu to create a pan-European shopping mall business, faced with increasing pressure from online retailers.

British newspaper The Times meanwhile reported that Klepierre's move now "threatens to derail" the merger with Intu, which owns property in Britain and Spain.

Klepierre now has until April 16 to either announce a firm offer for Hammerson or say it does not intend to make a bid, under British takeover rules.

The French firm's shares dipped 3.6 percent on the Paris stock exchange in early Monday morning trade to 33.51 euros. Hammerson stock however soared 26.20 percent to 551.60 pence in London.

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