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BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI-Taubman Centers Inc. of Bloomfield Hills is allowed to lobby the state legislature to fight against a takeover attempt, said the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan recently. Simon Property Group of Indianapolis wants to take over the company for $20 per share, or roughly $1.1 billion. Taubman is fighting the takeover, saying the company is doing too well to switch owners.

Simon and Taubman are locked in a court battle about whether to allow the Taubman family to use their shares, recently acquired, to block a takeover of the company. A judge ruled the company could not use the shares, but the case is under appeal, and an injunction has been issued.

Simon recently submitted a motion to hold an emergency Taubman shareholder’s meeting to stop the company from lobbying the Michigan legislature to change a law to allow the use of the family’s shares. U.S. District Court Judge Victoria Roberts has ruled against Simon’s motion, however.

“The Court did not grant Plaintiffs’ motion to insure that their rights ‘vest’ under a particular interpretation of the Michigan Control Share Act or to grant Plaintiffs final relief,” said Roberts in her ruling. “Because the relevant area of law is unsettled, the Court stayed the injunction, in part, so that the extent of those rights could be clarified. The Legislature has taken up that task.”

House Bill 4764 passed the Michigan House of Representatives on June 5.

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