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Essential IR Insights Newsletter - February 2023

Minor International launches NH Hotel takeover; Spanish assets sell for €441M

* A unit of Thailand-based Minor International PCL is offering €6.30 per share in cash to acquire 53.75% of NH Hotel Group SA's share capital it does not already own after securing approval from the Spanish Stock Exchange Commission.

The acceptance period begins Oct. 8 and will end Oct. 22, and the results will be made public within a maximum of seven business days after the end of the 15-day acceptance period.

* Spanish office real estate investment trust Inmobiliaria Colonial Socimi SA disposed of seven office buildings and a turnkey development in Madrid for a total of €441 million, marking a premium of 12% over the assets' most recent appraised value. The properties span a gross lettable area of 106,574 square meters.

Proceeds from the divestment will be used to fund Inmobiliaria Colonial's 320,000-square-meter office development pipeline and for potential property acquisitions.

* Private equity giant Blackstone Group LP is believed to have placed a retail property portfolio valued at upwards of €1 billion on the market, according to PropertyEU.

UK and Ireland

* Hammerson PLC agreed to divest a 50% interest in the Highcross shopping center in Leicester, U.K., for £236 million, creating a new £472 million joint venture for the property with an unnamed Asian investor. The sale price reflects a net initial yield of 5.5%, with the deal slated to close later in 2018, subject to joint venture financing and approval from the EU competition authority.

* UK Commercial Property REIT Ltd. closed a private sale of the 15 Great Marlborough Street office building in London's Soho district for £73.2 million to Royal London Asset Management. The nine-story, 49,094-square-foot freehold office asset also includes 10,094 square feet of retail space.

* Real estate manager Bruntwood Group Ltd. and Legal & General Group PLC have teamed up to establish a £360 million science and technology property partnership focused on the U.K., which will be named Bruntwood SciTech. The deal marks the largest investment in science and technology property assets in Europe so far in 2018.

The new venture is expected to reach a portfolio value of £1.8 billion by growing to more than 6.2 million square feet over the next 10 years.

* Workspace Group PLC cancelled the listing and trading of £57.5 million worth of 6.00% fixed-rate bonds due 2019, effective Oct. 8. The bonds, issued Oct. 9, 2012, were redeemed for an aggregate of about £60.4 million.

* Developer Ask Real Estate is looking to obtain permission for an apartment-hotel development project in the Deansgate area of Manchester, U.K., Construction Enquirer reported. The 21-story Staycity Aparthotel will offer about 310 rooms upon its completion, the report added.

* Budget hotelier Travelodge will spend £100 million to open 10 new hotels close to conference centers in the U.K. as part of its growth strategy, Construction Enquirer reported. The company has identified three possible locations in London, as well as other plots in towns like Edinburgh and Bournemouth.

* Construction company Torsion Developments commenced work on two new student housing projects in the U.K., collectively valued at £51.6 million, Construction Enquirer reported. In Sheffield, the company is constructing a 220-bed block due for completion in September 2019, while in Birmingham, it will deliver a 15-story building comprising 290 beds, the report added.

* According to Halifax, U.K. house prices rose 2.5% year over year in the three months to September, decelerating from the 3.7% annual growth pace in the three months to August. Prices declined 1.4% month over month in September.

* Irish investment company Tetrarch signed a multimillion-euro deal in principle to buy the 470-acre Howth castle and demesne in Dublin from the Gaisford-St Lawrence family, The Irish Times reported. The agreement also includes the golf courses and the Deer Park Hotel, which is set to be revamped as a luxury property.


* LRI Group and Aggregate Debt Advisory GmbH have jointly launched a debt fund, with a target of €500 million, to invest in German residential real estate projects. The new fund is aimed at pension funds, insurance companies and family offices, and will initially be registered for distribution in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg.


* Principal Real Estate Europe purchased an office building in Paris's Levallois Perret suburb in a maiden deal for a French property mandate from Sharia-compliant Saudi asset manager SEDCO, Property Investor Europe reported. The 9,800-square-meter property was bought for an unknown sum and is 100% leased to Italian energy group ENI, among other tenants, the publication added.


* Aberdeen Standard Investments paid an undisclosed sum to acquire 824 rented apartments in Helsinki in the first Finnish deal for its Pan-European Residential Property fund, PIE reported. The properties collectively provide 45,678 square meters of space across 26 buildings and are 96% leased, the report added.

Middle East

* Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund bought a 434,400-square-meter undeveloped land plot in northern Riyadh for 2.17 billion riyals, in what is understood to be the kingdom's biggest property deal, Reuters reported. The Public Investment Fund acquired the Al Ghadir site in a real estate auction conducted on behalf of late businessman Saleh Abdulaziz al-Rajhi, according to the report.

Other real estate news

* Swedish property investment manager Catella has formed the Catella Logistic Europe SAS company in a joint venture with Thierry Bruneau, chairman of the French Logistics Association, to expand its presence in Europe's core logistic development sector. The new company will focus on early-stage logistics property development in France, Spain and Germany, according to a release.

The Daily Dose Europe, Real Estate edition has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.

Celestyn Wong contributed to this report.