Mega Mall: Simon Property Group Backs Out of Hostile Takeover Bid

Simon and Macerich are the two of the three largest mall operators in the nation, with familiar holdings in Philly.

Macerich co-owns The Gallery with PREIT | Photo: discoverPHL

Macerich co-owns The Gallery with PREIT | Photo: discoverPHL

Remember earlier this month when news trickled out that Simon Property Group, the nation’s largest mall operator and owner of Philadelphia (Franklin) Mills, ruffled some feathers by attempting a bold hostile takeover bid of Macerich, the third largest mall operator and mysterious co-owner of The Gallery? Well apparently, the deal is no more. The Associated Press reports that “called off” the $16.8 billion bid ($23.2 billion counting debt) in an effort to create some kind of Megatron of mall operators.

Macerich, who repeatedly rebuffed Simon’s takeover attempts, has joined forces with PREIT to renovate The Gallery. Earlier reports indicated that the attempted takeover wouldn’t hinder those plans. Of course, we don’t yet know a whole lot about those upcoming renovations. From Dan McQuade’s semi-obit for the The Gallery as we know it:

PREIT and Macerich, who jointly own The Gallery, have not said much about its future except that a massive renovation is coming.

They’ve even been tight-lipped with tenants: Talking with store owners over the last few months brought more questions than answers. None of them knew much about the mall’s future. Most weren’t even sure when they were going to close. Tenants said the mall would be closed, starting with the eastern half, over a 1- to 3-year period.

It’s not only the big money investors that aren’t talking about its future, the City also has remained silent throughout the process as PREIT and Macerich seek public monies to make the transformation a reality:

On an earnings call last year, Macerich CEO Art Coppola said the company had “numerous development meetings with our partner as well as numerous meetings with city and state officials.” The city has been a partner in this silence, remaining tight-lipped about the future of a large, popular public space in Center City. The Redevelopment Authority still owns some of the land that the Gallery mall is on.