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BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI-Taubman Centers Inc. says a lawsuit filed by unwelcome suitor Simon Property Group, Inc. is “entirely without merit.” The lawsuit in US district court follows the Indianapolis-based retail giants upping the price of its takeover bid to $18 per share, or $925 million (See: Simon Ups Ante, Taubman Ponders Offers .

“While we have not had a chance to look at the lawsuit, we believe Simon’s allegations are entirely without merit and we will vigorously contest them,” Matt Sherman of Joele Frank, Wilkinson, Brimmer Katcher, tells GlobeSt.com.

Taubman officials have already asked shareholders to wait two weeks before making any decision on Simon Property Group’s tender offer. The larger REIT also is filing paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a shareholder vote.

Taubman’s board of directors says it is reviewing the tender offer and give its opinion to shareholders.

Simon Property Group, Inc. sued Taubman’s board of directors, which includes chairman, > president and chief executive officer Robert S. and executive vice president William S. Taubman, along with former director A. Alfred Taubman, in an attempt to force the board to consider its offer and prevent the Taubman family from blocking the sale.

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