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Hammerson makes play for Intu; Polish retail portfolio to sell in €1B deal

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Hammerson makes play for Intu; Polish retail portfolio to sell in €1B deal

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of European real estate news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries may have links to third-party sources that may require a subscription.

To merge or not to merge

* Hammerson Plc and Intu Properties Plc are merging to form a company with a pan-European retail and leisure portfolio worth £21 billion. Hammerson is offering 0.475 of a new share for each Intu share, translating to £3.4 billion for the latter company's entire issued and to-be-issued share capital.

Under the agreement, Hammerson shareholders will own about 55% of the combined entity's issued share capital, while Intu shareholders will own the remaining 45%. The acquisition is expected to take effect from the fourth quarter of 2018.

* Elegant Hotels Group Plc received a takeover offer from Spanish hotelier Meliá Hotels International SA or one of its affiliates, but talks have been terminated, it confirmed. Meliá offered 110 pence per share for Elegant Hotels, valuing the group at about £98 million, The (U.K.) Times reported.

Hefty price tags

* Chariot Top Group BV signed a roughly €1.0 billion agreement to buy a 28-property Polish retail portfolio, Reuters reported, citing the company's co-manager, Griffin Real Estate.

Funds managed by Ares Management LP, AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets and Apollo Rida will sell the assets, which together span about 704,000 square meters of gross leasable area. Redefine Properties Ltd. holds a one-quarter stake in the consortium that is acquiring the portfolio, while Pimco and Oaktree Capital each own a 37.5% stake.

* A joint venture comprising AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets, China's Gingko Tree Investment and South Korea's Hanwha Group is poised to place the Ropemaker Place office property in London on the market with an asking price of about £710 million, reflecting a net initial yield of 4.25%, CoStar U.K. reported.

The 600,000-square-foot 25 Ropemaker St. asset previously belonged to British Land Co. Plc, which sold it for £472 million in 2013.

Honey I shrunk the portfolio

* IMMOFINANZ AG exited Russia with the sale of its Moscow retail portfolio to the Russian FORT Group, generating immediate net cash flows of 5.00 billion Rusian rubles.

The company said it would now focus on office and retail asset investments in Germany and Austria, as well as central and eastern Europe.

* Foncière des Régions said it was selling a batch of "nonstrategic" retail assets in France in deals worth €287 million. The agreements include the €264 million disposal of 81 commercial assets leased to Quick and the €23 million sale of five Jardiland-leased properties.

* Said Holdings divested the 5 Churchill Place tower in London's Canary Wharf for £270 million to Chinese developer Cheung Kei Group, London's Financial Times reported.

The price reflects a net initial yield of 5.2% for Said Holdings, according to an analysis from Capital Real Estate Partners, the paper noted.

Said Holdings bought the 319,000-square-foot, 12-story office tower in 2009 from Canary Wharf Group for £208 million.

* Ireland-based Ballymore and Singapore's Oxley Holdings Ltd. are set to sell a 10-story office building in Dublin for €164 million, The Irish Times reported. German institutional investor TRIUVA Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH will take ownership of No. 1 The Landings on North Wall Quay, the first office building in the Dublin Landings development, after its practical completion in February or March 2018, according to the report.

* Hammerson is shedding its 75% stake in a shopping center in Nancy, France, to AEW Ciloger, which is acting on behalf of SCPI Laffite Pierre and Actipierre Europe. The €162 million sale price for the Saint Sébastien center is "moderately" below the asset's June 30 book value.

Doubling down

* WeWork Cos. is looking to double the size of its business in the U.K. in 2018 and further double it in 2019, the company's executive vice president of real estate, Patrick Nelson, told Property Week. The coworking giant has operations in 19 London locations, with 10 more in the offing.

Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Hammerson: Intu buyout won't leave us bogged down in UK

Keeping It Real Estate: Brexit hits London office development hardest as investors await deal decision

As of Dec. 7, US$1 was equivalent to 59.16 Russian rubles.

Amisha Mehta contributed to this report.