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AccorHotels-Mantra merger passes another hurdle; Eco World to buy £1.5B UK sites

* The Australian Federal Treasurer approved AccorHotels' proposed takeover of Australian hotel operator Mantra Group Ltd. via a A$1.18 billion scheme arrangement, moving the merger ahead by another step. The deal is now subject to the approval of Mantra's shareholders and the Federal Court of Australia.

* Malaysia's Eco World International Bhd. closed the acquisition of six sites from U.K. developer Willmott Dixon Holdings Ltd., marking the completion of the first stage of its plans to acquire a 70% stake in the latter's development. The sites have a gross development value of approximately £1.1 billion.

Additionally, Eco World has to pay a consideration of roughly £40.4 million to buy another six development plots in London with a gross development value of £1.5 billion, representing the second stage of its stake purchasing plan.


* Westfield London will become the largest shopping mall in Europe after the opening of its £600 million, 740,000-square-foot expanded section at the retail center, The (U.K.) Times reported. The additional space will raise the size of the retail asset to 2.6 million square feet, surpassing Aviapark in Moscow and the Westgate shopping city in Zagreb, Croatia, according to the report.

A joint venture between Australia's Westfield Corp. and Commerz Real delivered the project.

* Hammerson PLC successfully syndicated and signed a £1.50 billion unsecured revolving credit facility that can only be drawn down upon completion of its proposed merger with Intu Properties PLC.

The three-year facility, signed with a syndicate of 12 banks, will be used to repay selected Intu debt facilities, according to a release.

* Urban&Civic PLC got the green light from the Huntingdonshire District Council for its proposed development of a new urban extension at St Neots, Huntingdonshire, which will add up to 2,800 new homes, two primary schools, health facilities and 63,000 square meters of new employment space on site.

* LGIM Real Assets closed its purchase of the 500,000-square-foot India Buildings in Liverpool, Property Week reported. The asset will accommodate the HM Revenue and Customs government body across 270,000 square feet of space from 2019, following its ongoing renovation.

* NewRiver REIT was appointed by the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council of Hampshire, U.K., to develop a 66-acre leisure park, where the company plans to build roughly 500,000 square feet of leisure and about 200,000 square feet of designer outlet shopping space.

The council plans to grant NewRiver a 250-year leasehold interest on the site when the deal becomes unconditional, according to a release.

* Hansteen Holdings PLC intends to return roughly £145 million worth of capital in the form of a 35-pence-per-ordinary-share payout to shareholders, in an effort to reduce its share premium account and to cancel its capital redemption reserve. The proposal will be put forward for shareholder approval at a general meeting April 11 and will also be subject to court approval, the company noted in a release.

* Crosslane Student Developments secured approval for its 384-bed purpose-built student housing scheme at Howard Gardens in Cardiff, PW reported. The project has an estimated gross development value of £36 million and is expected to be ready for the 2020-2021 academic year.

* A Tristan Capital Partners fund, along with Ask Real Estate and the Richardson Family, has signed a forward funding deal with the Salford City Council for a new 166,000-square-foot prime office building at 100 Embankment on the former site of the Manchester Exchange railway station in Manchester's Greengate district.

The agreement marks a second major office deal for the European Property Investors Special Opportunities 3 fund. Its first deal comprised the nine-story 101 Embankment office building in the city, which was divested in July 2017 for £105 million.

* According to Rightmove, home sellers in Britain hiked asking prices by 1.5% in March, in what marks the largest monthly increase since 2007 for the month, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, asking prices in the first quarter of 2018 are 3.0% firmer than the prior quarter due to a 5% year-over-year decline in the number of properties being offered for sale.


* German lender pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank loaned a €65 million investment facility to BNP Paribas REIM to fund the purchase of the Horizon building in Dusseldorf, which houses French cosmetics company L'Oréal's German headquarters.

BNP Paribas is acquiring the 16-story building, which provides upward of 24,000 square meters of space, on behalf of a French consortium comprising the BNP Paribas Diversipierre fund, Société Générale Insurance and BNP Paribas Cardif.

* U.K.-based property consultant Carter Jonas and German Property Partners entered into a new strategic partnership to explore cross-border investments, leasing and corporate property activities, PW reported.


* Castellum AB will invest 307 million Swedish kronor to transform the Sabbatsberg 24 asset in central Stockholm into a modern work space. Castellum leased the 11,500-square-meter building in May 2017.

Work on the 9,000-square-meter first phase of the project, which will commence in the spring, is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2019, according to a release.


* JLL Real Views featured a report on the regeneration of real estate in Portugal, a trend driven by a strong economic growth and healthy demand, which is giving rise to new and refurbished retail and office properties across the country.

Middle East

* Developer Omniyat has chosen a partnership between Roberts Constructions and Impresa Pizzarotti & C for its two-tower Dorchester Collection development in Marasi, Dubai Canal, Arabian Business reported. The project aims to deliver a luxury hotel, residential units and prime retail space once it is completed in 2020.

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The Daily Dose Europe, Real Estate edition, is updated as of 6:30 a.m. London time. Some links require a subscription. Articles and links are correct as of publication time.

Celestyn Wong contributed to this report.

As of March 19, US$1 was equivalent to 8.17 Swedish kronor.