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Dutch court says Rodamco shareholders can vote on deal

A Dutch court ruled that shareholders of Rodamco North America (RNA) can meet March 25 to decide whether the company should sell its assets to Westfield America Trust, Simon Property Group and The Rouse Co.

The Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal had cancelled a Feb. 26 shareholder meeting on the deal after an activist shareholder group lodged complaints of mismanagement against RNA’s board. The court is scheduled to rule on those claims on Friday, thus allowing shareholders to make an informed decision at the March 25 meeting, according to a statement released today by Westfield.

Analysts say the shareholder "nuisance suit" doesn’t pose a serious threat to the $5.3 billion bid by the three U.S. mall REITs. If approved, the transaction would include 35 high-profile regional malls across the country.

The shareholder group’s concerns may include the size of "golden parachute" pay-outs to Rodamco’s board, the overall price of the deal, and the degree to which some shareholders were kept in the dark about the transaction, analysts say.

-- Staff and wire reports

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