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Lone Star buys 80% of property business; €1B build-to-rent platform launched

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of European real estate news stories and more published throughout the week.

Match made in real estate

* Spain's CaixaBank SA transferred its real estate business to Coral Homes SLl after closing the sale of an 80% stake in the operation to a subsidiary of funds managed by U.S. private equity firm Lone Star Funds. The initial valuation of the entire real estate business came to about €7.0 billion, the lender said in its June deal announcement.

* A Starwood Capital Group affiliate teamed up with Urbeo Residential Ltd. and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund to form a €1 billion build-to-rent residential platform focused on Ireland, Property Funds World reported. Dubbed Urbeo, the platform will buy rental accommodations involving social and supported tenants in Dublin and other major cities in the country.

* The merger of French real estate investment trusts Société de la Tour Eiffel and Affine closed after the companies' respective shareholders consented to the deal at separate special meetings Dec. 18. Société de la Tour's real estate portfolio is now worth over €1.7 billion.

* U.K.-based residential landlord Grainger PLC wrapped up its £396 million buyout of Grip REIT PLC from joint venture partner APG on Dec. 20. Grainger had agreed to buy the ordinary shares, shareholder loans and minority interests that it did not already own in the target company in November, when the real estate investment trust was 75.1% owned by APG and 24.9% by Grainger.

Signing the dotted line

* Malaysian asset manager Permodalan Nasional Bhd. and state pension fund Employees Provident Fund Board are under contract to buy the commercial elements in phase two of the Battersea Power Station project in London for a £1.58 billion base sum, after months of negotiations. The seller is a subsidiary of Battersea Project Holding Co., which is owned 40%, 40% and 20%, respectively, by Malaysia's SP Setia Bhd., Sime Darby Property Bhd. and the pension fund.

The Battersea Power Station building is expected to open in 2021, with roughly 1 million square feet of commercial space, over half of which has already been leased by Apple Inc. and IWG PLC's No18 business members club.

* Norway's sovereign wealth fund, Norges Bank Real Estate Management, signed a €613 million deal to acquire a mixed-use property at 79 Ave. des Champs-Elysées in central Paris from Groupama Group by the end of 2019. The property offers 7,200 square meters of retail space and 3,100 square meters of office space.

* Sweden's Victoria Park AB, majority-owned by German residential landlord Vonovia SE, agreed to buy two residential portfolios, featuring a total lettable area of over 188,000 square meters across nine properties in Sweden, from Akelius Residential Property AB for 4.7 billion kronor. The deal is poised to close April 1, 2019.

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As of Dec. 20, US$1 was equivalent to 9.00 Swedish kronor.