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Report: Eurosic eyeing regional, European growth after merger with Foncière de Paris

France-basedEurosic is planning expansionsin the French regions as well as other European countries after its merger withFoncière de Paris, Property Investor Europereported March 24, citing news agency AFP.

Eurosic'sdeputy CEO, Nicolas Ruggieri said, speaking at a news conference, that the mergedcompany intends to increase regional office holdings to between 10% and 15% of itsportfolio, and will target regional French cities where it already has a presence.The locations include Lille, Nantes, Rennes, Toulouse, Lyon and Sophia-Antipolis.

Additionally,the group also plans to expand in Germany, Spain and Italy through its Eurosic Lagunefund, and is aiming for a €3 billion portfolio by 2018. Eurosic Lagune was launchedat the end of 2015, seeded with €450 million of Eurosic assets operated by leisurefirms, and another €400 million of acquisitions secured at the launch, the reportsaid. Insurance groups Crédit Mutuel and Covéa hold 40% of the fund's capital, accordingto the report.

Eurosic'smerger with French peer Foncière de Paris, announcedearlier in March, and after an expected completion in May, would create a companywith more than €5 billion of assets under management. The bid was March 11, but Eurosic already had commitmentsfor 79% of the target firm's capital before the formal offer, which is believedto be a formality, according to the news outlet. The company sold €100 million worthof new shares to Swiss biopharmaceutical firm Debiopharm, in an effort to partlyfinance the takeover,as reported earlier.

Ruggierisaid the merger would allow Paris- and office-focused Eurosic to benefit from Foncièrede Paris' "broader expertise" in property sectors including business parks,youth hostels and private mansions. The combined entity will also be the fourth-largestFrench office REIT after Gecina,Foncière des Régions andIcade and will have 15development projects in the pipeline, he added.