Shareholders reject £1.6 billion property merger
LONDON (Reuters) Independent shareholders have voted down a controversial merger of two of Britain's largest property trusts by a whisker, blocking the creation of the sixth-largest property company with assets of about 1.6 billion pounds.
The proposed takeover of F&C's (FCAM.L) Commercial Property Trust (FCPTL.L) by Ignis Asset Management's UK Commercial Property Trust (UKCM.L) failed to win support from a majority of independent investors, ending a three-month struggle for power from the deal being first outlined in April.
Shareholders representing 50.07 percent of the interests rejected terms of the tie-up, which was recommended by the independent boards of both companies in June.
The outcome of the vote spells victory for F&C Asset Management, which has contested the imposed union of the two trusts from the outset, citing continued strong performance under the stewardship of its property fund management unit.
The FCPT board and its advisers will now convene to consider the future of the trust and consult with key shareholders, the trust said in a statement following the extraordinary meeting.
Shares in F&C Asset Management were trading 1.9 percent up at 53 pence by 3:42 p.m. BST, outperforming a 1.3 percent rise in the FTSE 100 Index .FTSE.
In June, Ignis said the takeover would boost the financial strength of both trusts by pooling capital resources and fusing two complementary portfolios to create a trust better equipped to withstand fresh property market shocks.
(Reporting by Sinead Cruise; Editing by Andrew Macdonald)
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