NEW YORK — The epochal battle for Taubman Centers Inc. is finally over.

On Wednesday, Simon Property Group Inc. and Westfield America Inc. in effect threw in the white towel as they withdrew their hostile $1.7 billion takeover bid for archrival Taubman Centers.

The withdrawal ended what was a hotly contested fight for nearly a year between the real estate investment trusts for control over Taubman’s ownership of high-end mall properties.

The announcement came a day after Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed into law a bill that gave Taubman Centers a big assist in rebuffing takeover efforts by Simon and partner Westfield.

The new law allows the Taubman family to vote their controlling shares against the takeover, in effect nullifying a state law requirement that such groups must obtain approval from outside shareholders under certain conditions.

As reported, a legal battle had ensued in which the Taubman family engaged other shareholders to vote as a bloc against the takeover. Earlier this year, a Michigan federal district court found that the Taubman family had violated state law by not obtaining outside shareholder approval. Governor Granholm’s signature on the new law overturned the court ruling.

Taubman said in a statement, “We’re pleased that Simon Property and Westfield America have withdrawn their tender offer. We will continue to run the business for the benefit of all shareholders.”

As reported, Simon first attempted to take over Taubman in November. After being rebuffed by its rival several times, Simon joined forces with Westfield. Even with the two combining their muscle power, the Taubman board held steadfast against the maneuver and repeatedly recommended that its shareholders turn down overtures by Simon and Westfield. Their tender offer was extended several times.

The most recent extension took place last week, when the two said they were extending their $20 per share cash offer until Oct. 31. Even on Wednesday when the pair concluded that they could not win a fight against Taubman family members in light of the new law, they continued to insist that Taubman’s outside shareholders by an overwhelming majority had signalled their approval of the intended takeover.

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