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French bid to own Gloucester retail park

Owners of St Oswald's Retail Park, Gloucester Quays and Bristol's Cribbs Causeway and Cabot Circus could still become part of a new super company - despite a French firm's attempt to scupper the deal.

In December news broke that Hammerson, the company which created and owns the 224,450sq ft St Oswald's Retail Park on the former Cattle Market site in Gloucester, had made a £3.4 billion offer for Intu Properties plc.

If the deal goes ahead the Peel Group, the parent company of Gloucester Quays' manager Peel Lifestyle Outlets, would also have a 15 per cent stake in the new £21 billion super business.

Peel Group's owner and deputy chairman of Intu, John Whittaker, was predicted to become the deputy chairman of the new enlarged business.

But then along came French retail property giant Klépierre which has twice now tried to scupper the whole deal by taking over Hammerson - most recently with a sweetened deal worth £5.04 billion.

Hammerson has first been approached by Klépierre in March with a £4.88 billion offer.

It has now emerged that both deals have been rejected, but not before Hammerson's top shareholders placed on hold its £3.4 billion tie-up with Intu.

London headquartered Hammerson said it remained open to any proposal from Klépierre "which properly reflects the value of the company".

But it said it had rejected the current increased bid because it felt it "continues very significantly to undervalue the company".

It remains a case of watch this space over who will end up owning and running the Gloucester retail park, which is home to the likes of McDonalds, B&Q, Argos, Mothercare, DW Sport, Wren Kitchens, SCS and Homesence. Klépierre has a deadline of April 16 to either put up a formal offer or walk away.

Hammerson also owns the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham.

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