Simon increases offer for Taubman to $1.5 bln

Simon Property Group Inc. plans to launch a tender offer for Taubman Centers Inc. for $18 a share, or about $1.5 billion, 50 cents a share higher than a proposal disclosed last month.

The Indianapolis shopping-mall power also plans to file a lawsuit attacking the method by which the Taubman family obtained voting control over the smaller mall rival in 1998.

The latest Simon Property moves, expected to be announced Thursday morning, further heat up the takeover battle between pioneering mall families and are aimed at forcing Taubman Centers´ board to consider the Simon Property offer and drive a wedge between independent directors and the Taubman family, which last month 'categorically' rejected Simon Property´s earlier proposal.

(source: Dow Jones)

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