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Essential IR Insights Newsletter - February 2023

Bovis completes £1.1B deal; M&G keeps £2.54B property portfolio suspended

* Bovis Homes Group PLC completed its acquisition of Galliford Try PLC's Linden Homes and Partnerships & Regeneration divisions in a roughly £1.1 billion deal, including shares, debt transfer and a £300 million cash payment, according to a release from Galliford.

Bovis said it will change its name to Vistry Group following the deal.

* M&G Investments continued the temporary suspension of the trading of its £2.54 billion property portfolio and feeder fund. To increase the fund's cash position, the company sold £70.4 million of assets and a further £67.2 million worth of properties are under offer or in solicitor's hands.

M&G Investments halted the dealing in M&G Property Portfolio and its feeder fund in early December 2019, citing Brexit-related uncertainty and ongoing structural shifts in the U.K.'s retail sector. The company will reopen the fund for dealing once cash levels have been "sufficiently restored," although it did not specify a date.

* U.S.-based American Tower Corp. completed its roughly $1.85 billion acquisition of London-based Eaton Towers Ltd., including the assumption of existing Eaton Towers debt. The deal adds roughly 5,700 communications sites to the communications-focused real estate investment trust's African portfolio.

The REIT also agreed to buy South African mobile telecommunication company MTN Group Ltd.'s minority interests in its joint ventures in Ghana and Uganda for about $523 million, with closing expected in the first quarter of 2020.

* A joint venture between Cindat Capital Management Ltd. and Omega Healthcare Investors Inc. acquired 49% of a portfolio of 67 senior housing properties in the U.K. from Healthpeak Properties Inc. for £176 million, Property Week reported. The deal also included the takeover of a development loan on the portfolio's newly constructed care home. The acquisition was completed in the third quarter of 2019, the report noted, citing Healthpeak's financial report. The remainder of the 67-property portfolio was bought by Cindat a year earlier.

* Madison International Realty LLC sold the 224,000-square-foot Five Acre Square property in the City of London, U.K., for an undisclosed sum, thereby fully exiting its Houndsditch property portfolio. According to PW, the purchase price is approximately £170 million. The buyer was privately held global real estate investment firm Northwood Investors LLC.

* Germany's Commerz Real AG made an office property investment in Barcelona's 22@ district for €132 million, PropertyEU reported.

UK and Ireland

* A starter home in Edinburgh, U.K., cost £217,406 in 2019, a 44% premium compared with the £151,891 price tag of an average house in Scotland, The (U.K.) Times reported, citing Registers of Scotland. According to the report, the average price of a typical residential property in the Scottish capital grew 255% from £61,320 in 1999.

* M7 Real Estate Ltd. bought an industrial property in Dublin for about €6.8 million on behalf of its fund with an initial yield close to 7%, according to Property Magazine International. The Primeside Park property in Ballycoolin is almost fully let and comprises 25 units with a total floor area of about 71,300 square feet.

* The residential property project of Marlet Property Group Ltd. subsidiary Crekav Trading GP in Dublin has been refused planning permission given its low housing density, The Irish Times reported. An Bord Pleanála overturned the decision of Dublin City Council approving the development of 14 houses, mostly four-bedroom units, in Rathgar.

The planning appeals board said the project would not provide an acceptable efficient use of serviceable land. It also rejected the scheme since the land that provides access to the property is not under control by Crekav, a factor that could endanger public safety, according to the report.


* The rising demand for housing and tourist accommodation brought on by the tourism boom in Vienna could pose a threat to the city's high quality of life if not solved with sensitivity, London's Financial Times reported. The dramatic rise in the number of properties for short-term holiday lets could have an indirect impact to Vienna's score in Mercer's Quality of Living Index in terms of safety and sanitation in the long run, said Mercer principal Slagin Pakatil.

Middle East

* Dubai-based Azizi Developments LLC said it would invest 88 million United Arab Emirates dirhams to upgrade the interiors of homes being built at the company's flagship project in Dubai to boost customer satisfaction, Arabian Business reported. The company said it will upgrade kitchen countertops, cupboards and flooring among others within all units in its Riviera scheme in Mohammed Bin Rashid City at no additional cost to home buyers, according to the report.

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