MADRID (Reuters) - Shares in Spain’s Merlin Properties rose as much as 13% in early Tuesday trading after the Expansion newspaper reported Canadian fund Brookfield was considering a takeover bid.
Merlin, which manages a portfolio of offices and commercial real estate across Spain and Portugal, declined to comment on the report.
At 0914 GMT its shares were trading 11% higher at 7.69 euros a share.
Brookfield did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to Expansion, Brookfield had been interested in acquiring Merlin before the COVID-19 pandemic, and has stepped up its plans since the real-estate group’s market valuation has plunged.
Banco Sabadell said in an analyst note that it sees “significant potential” in the company, which has been trading at a 55% discount to its June net asset value.
But the bank said it remained cautious on the possibility of any deal closing and that potential suitors might struggle to win over Merlin’s shareholders.
Banco Santander holds a roughly 22% stake in the company, while BlackRock owns 3.1%, Refinitiv data shows.
Reporting by Nathan Allen and Joanna Jonczyk-Gwizdala; editing by Louise Heavens and Barbara Lewis