Bigger Qatari offer rejected

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A sweetened £2.6bn offer from a Qatari consortium for the company behind London’s Canary Wharf development has been rebuffed.

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Canada’s Brookfield Property Partners tabled their “final” offer to Songbird Estates last night at a level significantly higher than their opening proposal, worth £2.2bn, a month ago.

Songbird owns 69 per cent of Canary Wharf Group, which also has a number of prime addresses in the heart of the capital in its £5.5bn portfolio, including a stake in the “Walkie Talkie” building at 20 Fenchurch Street in the City.

Rejecting the proposal, the company said today: “The board believes the offer from QIA and Brookfield does not reflect the full value of the company, its unique position and future growth potential.”

Songbird pointed out that the adjusted net value of its assets was 381p a share, compared with the current offer of 350p a share from the consortium.

QIA, which recently bought HSBC’s HQ in Canary Wharf, owns Harrods and Chelsea Barracks and has a 29 stake in Songbird. The emirate is also behind the Shard skyscraper, through a separate vehicle.

The high-rise buildings of Canary Wharf transformed the former Docklands area of east London when it was redeveloped in the 1980s. It is now home to some of the world’s biggest banks.