The stock price of Macerich Co. on Friday dropped the most in almost 12 weeks amid speculation Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc., which attempted to take over the shopping-mall owner earlier this year, was responsible for offering a block of the company’s shares overnight.
After U.S. markets closed Thursday, a block of 5.7 million shares of Santa Monica-based Macerich were offered at a “modest discount,” according to a research note from Evercore ISI. The block is about the same size as that held by Simon. The largest U.S. mall owner holds 5.7 million shares, or about 3.6 percent of Macerich, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Macerich shares fell 6 percent to $77.47 at 10:06 a.m. in New York, the most in intraday trading since April 1. Simon dropped 0.5 percent to $180.90.
Les Morris, a Simon Property spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to requests seeking comment. John Perry, senior vice president of investor relations at Macerich, declined to comment.
A share sale is a negative sign for Macerich, as some investors thought Simon might rekindle an offer to buy its smaller rival, according to Steve Sakwa, a senior managing director at Evercore ISI.
Simon attempted unsuccessfully to take over Macerich earlier this year for $16.8 billion. Macerich rejected the offer, and, after pressure from activist investors, added two independent directors to its board in May.