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

WeWork's conundrum

* Coworking giant WeWork Cos. Inc.'s parent, The We Co., is forming a two-member special board committee that will study financing proposals from shareholder SoftBank Group Corp. and main lender JPMorgan Chase & Co., Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources.

Earlier in the week, reports emerged that The We Co., which recently postponed its IPO, is seeking advice from Perella Weinberg Partners LP, as the coworking company determines whether to sell a majority interest to SoftBank or opt for a JPMorgan-led $5 billion debt package instead. The company is reportedly seeking a bailout package as it risks running out of cash as early as November.

Towering deals

* Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust Inc. struck a deal to acquire the real estate assets of The Bellagio Las Vegas from MGM Resorts International for about $4.25 billion in a 95/5 joint venture with MGM, excluding closing costs. The unit of private equity giant Blackstone Group Inc. will lead the joint venture, which will lease back the property to an MGM subsidiary for initial rent of $245 million per annum.

MGM also agreed to sell Circus Circus Las Vegas to an affiliate of Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin for $825 million. The deals are expected to close in the fourth quarter.

* Mack-Cali Realty Corp. purchased the 648-unit Liberty Towers residential property on the Jersey City Gold Coast in New Jersey for $409 million, and agreed to sell The Chase at Overlook Ridge and Alterra at Overlook Ridge properties in Boston to Rockpoint Group LLC for around $411.5 million.

* LaSalle Investment Management Inc. made its first investment in the life sciences property sector by acquiring a stake in Illumina Inc.'s global headquarters in the University Town Center submarket of San Diego. The investment manager's LaSalle Property Fund reportedly paid $299 million to urban office real estate investment trust Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. for a 49% interest in the 793,000-square-foot campus comprising six office, laboratory and accessory buildings spread across 44 acres of land.

* Beacon Capital Partners LLC is buying the 92%-leased, 40-story office building at 190 S. LaSalle St. in Chicago from Tishman Speyer Properties LP for about $230 million, Crain's Chicago Business reported, citing unnamed sources.

* Marriott International Inc. purchased the 270-room, 20-story W New York - Union Square hotel at 201 Park Ave. S. in New York City for $206 million.

Merger mix

* Marriott is acquiring Elegant Hotels Group PLC for £1.10 per share, valuing the Barbados-based hotelier at approximately £100.8 million. Elegant owns and operates a 588-room portfolio of seven luxury freehold hotels, as well as a beachfront restaurant.

* Office landlord Columbia Property Trust Inc. agreed to buy the operating platform and real property interests of Normandy Real Estate Management LLC for approximately $100 million in a cash-and-stock deal, with closing expected before the end of 2019.

* U.K.-based private equity firm Queensgate Investments LLP purchased New York-based hospitality company Freehand Hotels for about $400 million from a consortium including Sydell Group LLC and The Yucaipa Cos.

* Unit holders of Dream Global REIT will vote on the company's proposed C$6.2 billion takeover by real estate funds managed by Blackstone at a special meeting Nov. 12. The REIT's board recommended that unit holders vote in favor of the all-cash deal, which is expected to close in December.

Fund targets

* Stockbridge Capital Group is looking to raise up to $500 million for its fourth U.S. value-add real estate fund that will target office, industrial, retail and apartment properties, IPE Real Assets reported, citing undisclosed sources.

Earnings call coverage

With the earnings season kicking in, S&P Global Market Intelligence reporters tuned in to conference calls hosted by some of the larger players in the real estate sector.

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