Dec 13, 2010
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Peel says aim of Trafford sale to CSC not for cash

Dec 13, 2010

Dec 13 - Peel Group, set to take a near-20 percent stake in Capital Shopping Centres through its sale of the Trafford Centre mall in Manchester, said the deal was for a long-term investment in CSC, and not for cash.

The Orient (inside Trafford Centre): Europe's largest food court

"Peel has no intention of selling the Trafford Centre for cash and this has never been an aim of the group ... and nor does Peel intend entering into such a discussion," Peel, controlled by UK billionaire John Whittaker, said in a statement on Monday.

CSC on Sunday had slammed an alternative funding offer from its shareholder and would-be bidder Simon Property Group Inc as "completely impracticable". Simon quickly responded, urging CSC to postpone a vote on its planned acquisition of Trafford from Peel.

CSC's board has recommended that its shareholders vote in favour of the 1.6 billion pound ($2.53 billion) transaction at the extraordinary general meeting on Dec 20, which would give Peel a 19.9 percent stake in CSC.

"The transaction will bring to CSC the value of John Whittaker's extensive experience in the retail and leisure property sectors," Peel said in the emailed statement.

Peel said adding the Trafford mall to CSC's portfolio, "together with an improved capital structure and a strong and supportive shareholder, will significantly improve the growth prospects for CSC for the next cycle and for the long term".

(Reporting by Daryl Loo, editing by Sinead Cruise)

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