Songbird Estates shareholders back £2.6bn Canary Wharf takeover


Qatar has declared victory in its battle for Canary Wharf after its £2.6bn takeover of Songbird Estates was backed by enough shareholders to clear the deal.

The gulf state’s success was deemed inevitable after an 11th-hour pivot from Songbird Estates’ major shareholders last week saw the bidders instantly have the backing from 85.6pc of the company’s investors.

The major shareholder support came despite repeated rejections from Songbird Estate’s board, who believed that the 350p-a-share final cash bid undervalued the property company and its prospects.

However, after major shareholders including New York diamond magnate Simon Glick, US bank Morgan Stanley and China’s Investment Corporation backed the offer, Songbird reluctantly changed its recommendation to minority investors.

Qatar’s Investment Authority (QIA) and joint bidder Brookfield said on Thursday that more than 94pc of Songbird investors had accepted the offer – meaning that minority shareholders will now be squeezed out before it disappears from the stock exchange

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