Simon says it has loan in place as it shops about for £3bn Capital bid support

AN AMERICAN property giant yesterday stepped up the pressure on the owner of the Braehead shopping centre as it seeks to garner support for a £3 billion takeover approach.

Simon Property Group said its board had given the go-ahead to make a full offer at 425p a share for Capital Shopping Centres - whose 14 UK sites also include the Lakeside and Metro centres - and confirmed it had pulled together a loan to fund the purchase.

But Simon, which already owns a 5 per cent stake in Capital, claims the company it is circling refuses to negotiate or give it the financial information it needs to make a full offer.

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The bitter row has been complicated because Simon wants Capital to drop a 1.6bn bid for the Trafford Centre in Manchester, which it says is overpriced.

The US giant believes the bid for the Trafford Centre undervalues Capital by giving away up to 20 per cent of shares to the centre's owner, Peel Holdings, which is controlled by billionaire John Whittaker.

The Takeover Panel gave Simon until 5pm on 12 January to make a bid or walk away, after which it can't bid for six months.

Capital has already rejected Simon's indicative proposal at 425p a share, and has accused it of trying to "frustrate" its bid to buy the Trafford Centre.