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Segro selling 7 UK big-box warehouses for £241M; Brookfield buys London office

* Segro PLC signed contracts to sell seven standalone big-box warehouses in the U.K. for £241 million. A fund advised by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing, acting through a controlled subsidiary in joint venture with Thor Equities Group, is acquiring the portfolio spanning 203,400 square meters of floor space. The deal is expected to close by end of 2019.

* Brookfield Asset Management Inc. acquired the Nexus Place property in London for £169.4 million. Barings LLC sold the asset at 25 Farringdon St. on behalf of institutional investors. The property, which offers 159,840 square feet of grade A office space with ancillary retail space, is occupied by eight tenants.

* Toronto-based European Residential Real Estate Investment Trust agreed to buy the 17-story Kameleon property in southeast Amsterdam for approximately €105 million in a deal slated to close Dec. 16. The property comprises 222 residential suites, about 9,900 square meters of retail space and 432 parking spaces.

European Residential also said it recently acquired the 294-unit, nine-property Gazelle residential portfolio in the Netherlands for approximately €67 million. Additionally, the REIT agreed to sell an office property in Düsseldorf, Germany, for approximately €17 million.


* Capital & Counties Properties PLC, or Capco, converted to a U.K. real estate investment trust effective Dec. 9. Under the REIT regime, the company will no longer pay direct tax on profits and gains from qualifying rental business to the U.K. The conversion comes after Capco completed the £425 million sale of its interests in Earls Court residential scheme in London.

* Despite the slowdown in real estate investment in the U.K. in 2019, more than $80 billion of new capital is set to be invested in London's property market, according to JLL's blog The Investor. Alistair Meadows, JLL head of U.K. capital markets, said the continuous capital targeting the British market was due to various reasons, including transparency, liquidity and attractive pricing compared with other developed markets. However, Meadows noted that lack of supply is holding back investors.

* Rents in the U.K. retail warehouse sector may continue to fall in 2020 amid structural change in leasing, which includes a shift into shorter lease lengths, according to a research of Savills. Value-oriented brands will continue to be the most expansionary players in the retail warehousing space, as consumers are saving up in an eventual post Brexit era, the report added.

* Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd. joined the race to acquire Kier Group PLC's homebuilding arm, Sky News reported. The London-based private equity firm is bidding for Kier Living Ltd., which could be valued at about £150 million. The business is up for sale alongside Kier Property Ltd. and the two units could fetch a combined £200 million, according to the report.


* Warburg-HIH Invest Real Estate acquired, through a forward funding deal with Landmarken AG, a new office complex in Cologne for an undisclosed amount. The six-story KITE complex has a gross lettable area of 22,800 square meters with 477 parking spaces. Public savings bank Sparkasse KölnBonn is leasing about 75% of the property for 25 years.

The Nordics

* Norwegian Property ASA agreed to buy the Lille Grensen 7 property in Oslo, Norway, for 710 million kroner. Norwegian Property will buy all the shares in Grensen Investment AS, the company that fully owns Lille Grensen 7 AS. The transaction is expected to be completed Dec. 17.

* Kungsleden AB (publ) is acquiring an office building in Kungsholmen, Sweden, from Areim for 428 million Swedish kronor. The 7,600-square-meter building west of Stockholm is leased to LRF Konsult, Förlagssystem, Region Stockholm/Stockholms Läns Landsting and GEP Communication Group. The deal will be completed Dec. 12.

* A Hyatt Hotels Corp. affiliate entered into a franchise agreement with H176 Reykjavík ehf, a unit of Icelandic real estate company Reitir fasteignafélag hf, to launch a Hyatt Centric-branded hotel in Reykjavík, Iceland. The former Icelandic National Broadcasting Service headquarters along Laugavegur Street will be redeveloped into the 169-room Hyatt Centric Reykjavík, which is slated to open in 2022.

France and Switzerland

* Valor Real Estate Partners acquired two logistics property developments near Paris from Stonehedge for €40 million, IPE Real Assets reported. The distribution parks in Louvres and Brie-Comte-Robert have a combined area of 321,000 square feet. The logistics properties will be developed in two distinct phases, according to the report.

* German pension fund Bayerische Versorgungskammer, through Universal-Investment, bought 14 retail assets in Switzerland from a family office for an undisclosed sum, according to IPE Real Assets.

Middle East

* Azrieli Group bought the Mount Zion Hotel in Jerusalem for 275 million Israeli shekels as part of its expansion into Israel's hospitality segment. The 137-room hotel on Hebron Road is built on 13,000 square meters of land with an aggregate built-up area of 11,600 square meters.

The Israeli real estate operator will pay 500 million to 600 million shekels for the hotel's renovation and expansion. It has an approved zoning plan for the property, which features the addition of 22,400 square meters of above-ground area and about 380 underground parking spaces. The plan also allows the company to increase the number of the hotel's rooms to 400.

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