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Songbird backer ups stake in firm

Two companies currently vying to take over Canary Wharf Group owners, Songbird, have said one of the company’s shareholders has decided to up its stake in the firm.

Third Avenue Management is one of three Songbird free float shareholders that backed the takeover move by Qatar Investment Authority and Brookfield Property Partners.

Brookfield Property Partners today said Third Avenue Management will increase its stake to 26,268,989 Songbird shares, from 723,432.

QIA and Brookfield Property Partners made an offer of £3.50 per share to the Songbird board, valuing the firm at £2.6bn.

But in statement to the city, Songbird said the value did “not reflect the full value of the company”.

This followed an initial offer by QIA and Brookfield Property Partners of £2.95 per share at the beginning of November, which Songbird said “materially undervalued” the business and rejected the proposal, prompting QIA and Brookfield Property Partners to go hostile.

In a separate statement today the Qatar Holding Shareholder Group said it had designated Ken Costa, as director of Songbird to take its representation back up to three, following the departure of Khalifa Al-Kuwari in September 2014.

On Wednesday, EMS Capital became the third shareholder to back QIA and Brookfield Property Partners’ offer of £3.50 per share, joining Third Avenue Management and Madison International Realty.

EMS Capital holds a total of 4,997,050 Songbird Shares, representing approximately 3.2 per cent of Songbird’s free float and around 0.7 per cent of its issued ordinary share capital.

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