A consortium including the Peel Group is considering a potential cash offer for shopping centre group Intu.
Intu, owner or part-owner of 18 centres across the UK including the Trafford and Arndale Centres in Manchester and Metrocentre in Gateshead, was the subject of a takeover bid by rival Hammerson earlier this year.
The deal was set to create Britain’s biggest property company, with £21 billion worth of assets across Europe.
The £3.4 billion deal was officially called off in late April after Bullring owner Hammerson withdrew a recommendation for shareholders to vote through the acquisition.
In an announcement after the close of trading on Thursday, Peel Group confirmed it had formed a consortium along with Saudi conglomerate Olayan Group and Canadian asset management company Brookfield.
A statement said: “The consortium’s consideration of the possible offer is at a preliminary and exploratory stage and no approach has been made to the board of Intu.”
Intu said it had not received an approach from the consortium, but added: “The board has formed an independent committee comprising all directors of Intu other than John Whittaker, who is connected to the consortium.”
“The independent committee will consider any approach from the consortium, if made, and a further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.”
The consortium has until November 1 to make a firm offer for Intu, whose share price fell 3.2% to 148.5p on Thursday before news of the potential bid was confirmed.