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Lendlease lands £1.5B UK project; Ampère Gestion eyes €1.2B for housing fund

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

Big catch

* Australia's LendLease Group was awarded by the Birmingham City Council the contract to deliver the £1.5 billion Birmingham Smithfield redevelopment project in the British city. The 17-hectare site will be used to develop more than 2,000 homes, the city's Bull Ring retail markets and other amenities.

* Activum SG Capital Management Ltd. purchased the project management activities of Wirtschaftshaus AG for an undisclosed amount, becoming the largest developer of senior homes in Germany in doing so, Property Funds World reported. Wirtschaftshaus and WI-IMMOGroup GmbH, which Activum acquired in 2016, have a combined senior housing pipeline worth about €1.2 billion.

Capital commitments

* French asset manager Ampère Gestion raised €900 million at the initial close of its new intermediate housing investment vehicle that will target the construction of 11,000 residential units in France, Property Investor Europe reported. The fund's capital commitments are expected to reach €1.2 billion at a second close in 2019.

* Some 13 U.K. institutional investors committed a total of about £250 million at the first close of CBRE Global Investors Inc.'s debut U.K. social and affordable housing fund, IPE Real Assets reported, citing a company executive. CBRE UK Affordable Housing Fund will invest in social and affordable rented housing, shared-ownership properties, homeless hostels and housing for key workers.

* In Spain, a joint venture between local asset manager Azora Altus SL and CBRE Group Inc. is looking to establish an investment vehicle that will spend €250 million to transform city-center properties into last-mile logistics sites, Business Immo reported, citing Spanish media.

The new platform will initially target suitable properties across Madrid and Barcelona.

Thinking over

* The Losantos family of Spain are planning to sell retail real estate company Neinver for more than €500 million, Business Immo reported, citing local newspaper Cinco Dias. Neinver manages 600,000 square meters of retail space across nearly 2,000 stores in Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

* Shareholder Thalassa Holdings Ltd. is planning to make an offer for the entire issued and to-be-issued share capital of Local Shopping REIT PLC that it does not already own after opposing the real estate investment trust's voluntary liquidation proposal. Thalassa held a 25.5% stake in the REIT as of December 2018.

No deal

* A NEPI Rockcastle PLC unit called off the acquisition of two shopping centers in Kraków, Poland, that it had agreed to buy in October 2017 for a sum of €249.4 million. Certain conditions related to Tuvalu Sp. z o.o.'s purchase of the Serenada and Krokus retail assets were not met by Dec. 31, 2018, NEPI said.