Centro Takeover Rumors Cause Share Surge

Centro Properties Group took the unusual step of asking that trading on its shares be halted after they surged 120 percent on rumors about takeover bids were printed Thursday morning in Australia.

Centro Properties Group asked that trading in its shares be halted Thursday after they surged more than 120 percent on a newspaper report that the struggling company has attracted as many as six bids.

The Australian Financial Review reported earlier that Centro Properties had received six bids, without naming any sources, and said buying interest was at a maximum of 90 Australian cents (82 cents).

The Wall Street Journal has a rundown of situation in its print edition today. Here's a link, but you need an online sub to get the whole article.

Among those that have submitted bids is Citadel Investment Group, the Chicago-based investment concern, these people say. A Citadel representative declined to comment. The identity of other bidders and the value of the bids, which are not final, were not known.

The original report appeared in the Australian Financial Review in the Thursday morning edition (sub. required). The paper ran an follow-up at the end of the business day that you can see on its home page. (The paper doesn't seem to allow direct linking to stories.) It mentioned as potential suitors Citadel, Blackstone Group, Macquarie Group and Lightstone Partners.

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