A bid by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and a Canadian partner to buy the firm behind London’s Canary Wharf, has been rejected. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Brookfield Property Partners had raised their all-cash offer for Songbird Estates from £$3.5bn to $4bn, just hours before a bid deadline expired last night. Songbird, which had rejected the lower offer last month on the grounds that it “significantly undervalued” the business, said on Friday that the latest bid was also too low in the opinion of its board.
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 Estates statement
Songbird is the majority owner of the sprawling financial area that is Canary Wharf - once the powerhouse for London’s shipping trade - and is home to the headquarters for HSBC and Barclays. The estate is on track to secure its first residential development while Crossrail, the planned link between east London and Reading via Heathrow, will also serve Canary Wharf and is set to add considerable value to the estate. The Qatar fund already has a 29% stake in Songbird but is looking to capitalise on a strong commercial property market. Its other property interests in London include The Shard, the tallest skyscraper in western Europe.