Simon Property Group Inc. raised its unsolicited takeover bid for rival mall owner Macerich Co. to about $16.8 billion, calling it a final offer.

Simon, the biggest U.S. mall landlord, offered $95.50 a share, up from $91 on March 9, the Indianapolis-based company said in a statement Friday. The offer will be withdrawn if Simon is unable to meet with Macerich to negotiate terms of an
agreement by April 1 at 5 p.m. Pacific time. Simon has said it’s made made multiple attempts to discuss its interest, and Macerich has refused to engage in talks.

“We believe our offer is compelling and will deliver significant and immediate value to Macerich shareholders,” Simon Chief Executive Officer David Simon said in the statement. “We encourage the Macerich board to give our proposal the serious consideration it deserves and to take into account the views of Macerich shareholders.”

Macerich has taken steps to thwart a hostile takeover. The Santa Monica, California-based real estate investment trust said on March 17 that it’s staggering the election of directors, which would make it more difficult to oust the board, and adopting a “poison pill” defense that raises the price Simon would have to pay because more Macerich shares would be issued.

In its own statement, Macerich confirmed it received the new proposal and said its board will review it with its financial and legal advisers.

Macerich Resistance

“At this point it’s back in Macerich’s court,” said Jeffrey Langbaum, a REIT analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. “Either they say ‘OK, let’s talk,’ or ‘No, thank you, that offer’s not high enough."

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Macerich fell 7.2 percent to $86.74 at 10:48 a.m. New York time, indicating investors expect a deal won’t be reached. Simon has been the only company to publicly made a bid.

“The market’s indicating that the company is gearing up to pass on the bid,” David Auerbach, an institutional REIT trader at Esposito Securities LLC in Dallas, said in a telephone interview.