Taubman claims Simon scuttled $3.6B merger due to buyer’s remorse

Mall giants are battling each other in court over failed deal

Robert Taubman and David Simon (Getty)
Robert Taubman and David Simon (Getty)

Simon Property Group called off its $3.6 billion merger with Taubman Centers due to a classic case of buyer’s remorse, the spurned seller claims.

Taubman submitted a new legal filing in the mall landlords’ court battle that claims the larger rival Simon tried to renegotiate the terms of their deal once the coronavirus pandemic hit, Bloomberg reported.

Simon had agreed to buy 80 percent of Taubman in December at $60 per share, a figure that came down to $52.50 once the two entered into contract in February partly over concerns of the pandemic, Taubman claims.

Taubman is arguing in court to force Simon to close their deal, saying it will suffer “irreparable harm” if Simon is allowed to walk away.

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The legal battle between the two giant mall REITs is sure to be drawn out, according to experts.

“It still seems that the litigation move by Simon is really a stepping stone to renegotiation so it’ll really come down to whether the two can come up with an agreement on a lower price,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Lindsay Dutch said.

Simon announced last week it had terminated the deal, arguing the coronavirus disproportionately affected Taubman’s business. Some analysts believe Simon wants to finish the deal and is angling for a lower price. [Bloomberg] — Rich Bockmann

Contact Rich Bockmann at rb@therealdeal.com or 908-415-5229