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Société de la Tour, Affine to merge; Indian developer shelves 25B-dirham project

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

In hot pursuit

* Société de la Tour Eiffel will absorb fellow French real estate investment trust Affine and create a Euronext Paris-listed REIT, with a market cap close to €750 million and a roughly €1.75 billion portfolio of 163 assets. The REITs will hold separate extraordinary general meetings of their respective shareholders to vote on the proposed merger in December.

* Brookfield Property Group LLC, Olayan Group and The Peel Group confirmed media reports that the consortium is mulling a possible cash takeover offer for Intu Properties PLC, which in April saw fellow U.K. retail landlord Hammerson PLC withdraw takeover plans for the company. The group has yet to approach Intu's board on the matter and has until 5:00 p.m. London time on Nov. 1 to announce a firm intention.

* Cushman & Wakefield Inc. and Avison Young are competing to acquire U.K.-based commercial property agency GVA from Swedish private equity group EQT, Property Week reported, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. A deal valuing the target at between £250 million and £270 million could be signed by Christmas.

* Sweden's Klövern AB approached shareholders of local peer A Group Of Retail Assets Sweden AB (publ) with an approximately 936 million-kronor cash offer for all the ordinary class A, class B and preference shares. Holders of approximately 76.0% of the shares have irrevocably undertaken to accept the bid that will be open for acceptance from Oct. 12 to Nov. 9.

Planned developments

* Indian real estate developer Sobha Ltd. dropped plans for the 25-billion-dirham, 53 million-square-foot mixed-use Firdaus Sobha project with the local government in Umm Al Quwain, United Arab Emirates, Thomson Reuters' Zawya reported, citing the company's chairman, PNC Menon. Sobha also shelved its IPO plans in the Middle East.

* U.S.-based data center landlord CyrusOne Inc. secured planning permission for its first Irish project, a €400 million data center in Dublin, Irish Independent reported. The property is expected to span more than 32,419 square meters at the Grange Castle business park.

Raking in euros

* French supermarket chain Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA signed a €565 million deal to sell 55 Monoprix real estate assets, 19 of which are in Paris, to an undisclosed institutional investor.

* Icade is selling a portfolio of French properties, including the Paris Nord 2 and Colombes business parks and the Axe Seine building, to an unnamed institutional investor for €425 million.

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