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Berkshire Hathaway eyes London expansion; Sherpa buys co-working operator stake

* Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s property unit is understood to have entered into a franchise deal with London-based estate agent Kay & Co. to expand its presence in the British capital's real estate sector, with a target to open ten offices in the next 10 years, The (U.K.) Times reported. Kay & Co. will use the Berkshire Hathaway brand to tap into the rising homebuyer interest in central London locations, according to the publication.

* Spanish private equity group Sherpa Capital paid an undisclosed sum to acquire a majority stake in local coworking space operator Busining. The operator's founder, Óscar García Toledo, will retain a significant stake and remain general manager of the company.

UK and Ireland

* Landsec's more than 20-year reign as the U.K.'s largest real estate company was brought to end by Segro PLC on Sept. 6, as the latter's market valuation eclipsed Landsec's nearly £6.58 billion valuation, Property Week reported. British Land Co. PLC was relegated to third spot on the list from second.

* Unite Group PLC's Unite Students exchanged unconditional contracts for the sale of 14 properties to Singapore Press Holdings for £180.5 million, of which Unite Students' share is £84.7 million. The deal, which reflects a net initial yield of 6.3%, is expected to close later in September. The portfolio was placed on the market with a guide price of roughly £200 million in March.

* GCP Student Living PLC plans to raise gross proceeds of up to roughly £55 million from the placement of new shares under its program to issue up to 38,506,400 ordinary shares on a non pre-emptive basis. The shares will be priced at 149.50 pence apiece.

* Workspace Group PLC set the redemption price for the £57.5 million outstanding amount of its 6.00% fixed-rate bonds at £105.09 per £100 principal amount of the bonds. The bonds were issued Oct. 9, 2012 and are due in 2019.

* Residential Secure Income PLC agreed to buy a retirement homes portfolio comprising 478 properties in the U.K. for £40.2 million. The company has completed the purchase of 421 properties and has yet to finalize the acquisition of the remaining 57, which is expected within three months.

* York Capital is seeking offers of more than €86 million for the Wilton Shopping Center and an adjoining mixed-use development site in Cork, Ireland, PW reported. The shopping center, which includes 121,388 square feet of retail space, is being sold via Savills for €76 million, reflecting a net initial yield of 6.75%.

* Developer Mace is seeking approval for its roughly £100 million development of two research facilities at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire, U.K., Construction Enquirer reported. The buildings are expected to be completed over the next three years, and will be used for health, life sciences and technological research, the report added.

* Construction Enquirer also reported that Morgan Sindall won the construction contract for a new £60 million motorway services facility at Junction 45 of the M1 motorway in the U.K. Extra MSA Group's plans for the new-look Leeds Skelton Lake Services include a new food court-style building, featuring retail outlets, a business center, a 100-bed hotel and a filling station, according to the report.

* Private equity group Evans Randall Investors divested for £29.8 million the Croydon Park Hotel in London to the Croydon Council after placing it on the block in June for £25 million, PW reported. The 1.54-acre freehold site in Croydon's commercial district comes with an opportunity to rezone the site to residential use, the report added.

* According to Halifax, house prices in the U.K. rose at an annual rate of 3.7% in August, with the average house price for the month stood at a record £229,958, The (U.K.) Guardian reported. The annual growth rate for the month was seen to be above the rate of wage growth, the report added.

Italy

* Immobiliare Grande Distribuzione SIIQ SpA received a €200 million senior unsecured facility from BNP Paribas to refinance a €150 million bond maturing in 2019 and hedge against possible interest rate hikes, Property Investor Europe reported.

* Real estate investment volumes in Italy during the first half of 2018 totaled €2.9 billion, a 45% drop from the prior year first-half period, as high prices and low supply continue to stifle activity in the market, PIE reported, citing Colliers.

Spain

* Danish pension fund's real estate division, PFA Ejendomme, is believed to be investing a three-digit million Danish kroner amount into the Gran Via 30 property, in a joint venture with US group Thor Equities, PIE reported. Thor Equities bought the asset in June for €75 million and plans to reposition the retail building’s upper floors, according to the report.

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Rollen Catorce contributed to this report.