Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE: SPG) and Farallon Capital Management, L.L.C. have announced they have sent a letter to the Board of Directors of The Mills Corporation (NYSE: MLS) proposing to enter into a merger agreement to acquire Mills for approx. €17.3 ($24.00) per share in cash.
The proposed merger agreement would provide for a cash tender offer for all outstanding shares of Mills common stock. It would provide Mills shareholders with a higher price than under the existing Mills agreement with Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE: BAM) and would enable Mills shareholders to receive payment at least six months before the publicly announced expected closing date for the Brookfield transaction. Funds managed by Farallon currently own approximately 10.9% of Mills outstanding common shares, making these funds the largest reported Mills shareholder.
David Simon, Chief Executive Officer of SPG, said, "This is a unique opportunity to acquire a portfolio of quality retail assets. SPG's experience operating upscale regional mall and outlet centers; previous ownership interest in certain Mills properties; and successful track record with acquisitions, integration, and property management, uniquely position us to maximize the value of these assets and make this a beneficial transaction for SPG and Mills shareholders and Farallon investors. We look forward to working with the Mills joint venture partners to improve the performance of these properties."
Richard B. Fried, a Managing Member of Farallon, said, "We are excited by the opportunity to partner with SPG, which is the clear leader in the retail real estate sector. SPG's operating expertise, combined with the strong financial support we are both providing, will allow Mills' quality assets to perform to their true potential."