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Wereldhave to Cut Anti-Takeover Devices After Consultation

Wereldhave NV, the Dutch real estate company that owns shopping centers in Belgium, Finland and the Netherlands, wants to reduce its anti-takeover measures after consulting with stakeholders.

“The cancellation of all priority stock is proposed, whilst maintaining the possibility to issue protective preference shares to a maximum of 50 percent of the issued share capital,” The Hague-based company said in a statement today.

Wereldhave said the company itself won’t decide whether to use a protective device. Instead, the company plans to grant a foundation a call option to buy preference shares. The option can only be used as a temporary protective measure that would enable the company to consider carefully the merits of the detail for all stakeholders, Wereldhave said.

“These are good steps and will make it more likely that a reasonable takeover offer will succeed,” Jaap Kuin, an Amsterdam-based analyst at ING Groep NV, said in an investor note. The preference shares are a “strategic bargaining chip” that could ultimately lead to a higher takeover price, said Kuin, who has a buy recommendation on Wereldhave.

Wereldhave was up 0.4 percent to 62.04 euros as of 10:49 a.m. in Amsterdam, valuing the company at 1.35 billion euros ($1.85 billion). The shares have gained 21 percent in six months.

Separately, Wereldhave said today it agreed to increase its ownership of the De Koperwiek shopping center in the Dutch town of Capelle aan de IJssel to 100 percent. The purchase price, including transaction costs, amounts to about 60 million euros, Wereldhave said.

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