Simon Property CEO says ‘no deal’ in Australia after report

Simon Property Group Inc. CEO David Simon said the mall owner doesn’t have a deal in Australia, following a newspaper report by the Australian that the company was likely to pursue CFS Retail Property Trust Group.

“There’s no deal,” Simon said at a Barclays Plc financial-services conference that was broadcast over the Internet on Tuesday.

The Australian reported that Indianapolis-based Simon may bid for CFS Retail, potentially keeping CFS’s premium shopping centers and selling second-tier properties. Simon, the largest U.S. mall owner, has “been known to do some deals here and there, however not in Australia,” the CEO said.

Simon’s holdings overseas include a stake in European mall owner Klepierre, based in Paris. The real estate investment trust is redeveloping and expanding its existing malls and building outlet centers to boost growth.

Shares in CFS Retail, with a market value of about $6.1 billion, rose 3.8 percent Tuesday.

Simon shares were little changed at $172.44 at closing Tuesday. The stock has risen 21 percent this year, compared with a 19-percent gain in the Bloomberg REIT Regional Mall index of 10 landlords.

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