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Blackstone over Lone Star for Astro Japan; ANZ forced to leave GLP

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of Asia-Pacific real estate news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries may have links to third-party sources that may require a subscription.

Asia-Pacific M&A

* Astro Japan Property Group said that Blackstone Real Estate-managed funds have offered to buy the company for ¥37.91 billion. If the proposal is approved, Astro Japan will delist from the Australian stock exchange by January 2018.

The offer, which the Astro board supports, comes months after the same board confirmed that it had previously engaged with Lone Star Funds, but ultimately decided that Lone Star's bid for the company's assets wasn't of fair value.

* Global Logistic Properties Ltd. appointed Evercore Asia (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. to replace Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.'s Singapore branch as its financial adviser for the Nesta Investment Holdings Ltd. consortium's S$16 billion offer to take the company private.

The change is due to the Securities Industry Council of Singapore ruling that the financial ties of an ANZ entity based outside the city-state to the consortium disqualifies it from being an independent financial adviser.

* NEXTDC Ltd. sweetened its offer for its landlord Asia Pacific Data Centre this week. Aside from it now being unconditional, NEXTDC increased the offer consideration to A$1.87 per security from A$1.85, and added a 2.43 Australian-cent-per-security distribution component as a perk.

Earnings in Asia

* Several Asian developers released earnings this week, with three recording substantial year-over-year gains. CapitaLand Ltd. reported a 97.0% year-over-year spike in its second-quarter profit after tax and minority interests to S$579.3 million from S$294 million. The Singapore-listed and Hong Kong-based Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd., meanwhile, recorded a 147% year-over-year surge in attributable profit to about US$3.13 billion from US$1.26 billion in the first half of 2017.

In Hong Kong, Li Ka-shing's companies reported their interim numbers. Cheung Kong Property Holdings Ltd. recorded a 67% year-over-year surge in first-half attributable profit to shareholders to HK$14.41 billion from HK$8.61 billion. CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd., meanwhile, also saw attributable profit in the half improve, albeit more modestly compared to the property business, logging growth of 7% year over year to HK$15.92 billion from HK$14.92 billion.

Over in Japan, Mitsui Fudosan Co. Ltd. attributed a 1.1% decrease on its roughly ¥33.88 billion fiscal first-quarter profit attributable to owners of the company to an increase in income taxes. Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd., on the other hand, said attributable profit for the quarter dropped 34.5% year over year to ¥17.93 billion from ¥27.40 billion, as profit from capital gains from various business segments went down, despite the rental income and profit increases in its office segment.

* In other news, Lendlease Corp. Ltd. released a remedial statement shortly after a draft copy of a portion of its 2017 financial year figures was accidentally released to the public.

Deals in India

* Embassy Office Parks registered with the Securities and Exchange Board, officially making it the country's first real estate investment trust, or REIT.

* Meanwhile, seven years from its first failed attempt, Lodha Developers might go public in 2018. Managing Director Abhishek Lodha said the group will seek approval from the Securities and Exchange Board in the next six to nine months for an IPO.

* Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC is tipped to be in talks for an up to 49% stake in India's first bespoke lifestyle developer. The reported deal for Provenance Land shares will value the company at 20.00 billion rupees.

* RMZ Corp. is planning to raise US$900 million to US$1 billion in equity to aid the developer's growth plan. Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board and Qatar Investment Authority are said to be in discussions with the company to come on board as investors.

Properties in Australia

* A A$3 billion casino project in Queensland was terminated by the state government, while a A$600 million Mirvac Group residential scheme in Sydney received the green light.

* On the transactions front, GPT Group's GPT Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund agreed to buy for A$680 million a 25% stake in a Melbourne shopping center, giving GPT full ownership of the asset. The Highpoint Shopping Centre and Maribyrnong Homemaker Centre is one of the country's biggest malls and has an annual moving turnover of nearly A$1 billion.

* The country also saw Amazon.com Inc. confirm this week that it is opening a 24,000-square-meter fulfillment center in the Dandenong South suburb of Melbourne, the retail giant's first warehouse Down Under.

Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

China, Singapore real estate M&A deals to chart a steady climb in 2017: Real estate M&A deals in China and Singapore are expected to make news through the end of the year amid a greater push for "industry consolidation," according to rating agency Moody's.

Hires and Fires Asia-Pacific: Real Estate moves through Aug. 1: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a weekly rundown of recent significant management and board changes and personnel moves in the Asia-Pacific real estate industry.

Celestyn Wong contributed to this report.