Qatar wins battle to buy Canary Wharf with recommended £2.6bn bid

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Qatar wins battle to buy Canary Wharf with recommended £2.6bn bid

A battle to buy Canary Wharf has been won by the Qatar Investment Authority and a Canadian property investor.

The site will be taken over for £2.6 billion after its current owners, Songbird Estates, failed to find an alternative buyer.

The company, which owns the majority of the site, recommended that smaller shareholders accept the 350p a share offer.

It told shareholders as recently as January 12 to reject the offer, saying it undervalued the company.

But in a surprise U-turn, it has changed its stance after the Qatar Investment Authority-led bid won the backing of the holders of 86 per cent of its shares.

“The Board recommends that, in the event that the offer becomes or is declared unconditional as to acceptances, Shareholders should accept the offer,” Songbird said in a statement.

However, it reiterated that it believes the price tag “does not reflect the full value of the business, its unique operating platform and its prospects.”

The QIA and Brookfield Properties started its pursuit of Songbird in November with an initial £2.2 billion approach in December, which was rebuffed. It came back with the higher bid the following month.

Both parties already have significant interest in Canary Wharf. The QIA owns 28.6 per cent of Songbird, while Brookfield holds 22 per cent of Canary Wharf Group.


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