* Blackstone Group LP is selling its office tower at 127 Creek St. in Brisbane, Australia, to Singaporean funds manager Firmus Capital under a nearly A$130 million deal, The Australian reported. The 18,302-square-meter property is one of three buildings Down Under that the U.S.-based private equity giant said it would sell to reap over A$500 million.
* In a separate deal, certain Blackstone funds agreed to buy the VXV portfolio of seven low-rise buildings in Auckland from a 51/49 joint venture between Goodman Property Trust and Singaporean wealth fund GIC for NZ$635 million, reflecting a 6.6% passing yield.
* Singapore-listed Ascendas Hospitality Trust formalized its exit in China, following the completion of its roughly 1.16 billion-yuan agreement for the sale of its two remaining properties in the country.
Ascendas Hospitality, through Ascendas Hospitality Business Trust, sold the 17-story, 306-room Beijing Novotel Sanyuan and the 14-story, 397-room Ibis Beijing Sanyuan to China Hospitality Bidco Ltd. and China Hospitality Bidco 2 Ltd. via a deal signed Jan. 29.
* Proxy firm ISS is believed to be encouraging Westfield Corp. security holders to accept Unibail-Rodamco SE's US$15.68 billion takeover proposal during the May 24 vote, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk reported, noting that even without the additional prodding, the merger is still on track for completion.
The deal, which could potentially become the biggest ever merger and acquisition in Australia, secured the approval of the French offeror's shareholders May 17.
* Wanda Hotel Development Co. Ltd. completed its approximately A$1.13 billion divestment of a mixed-use tower development in Sydney and of a 55% interest in a Gold Coast project in Australia to AWH Investment Group Pty. Ltd.
Earlier, the Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd. subsidiary said it expects a roughly HK$556 million gain and an estimated HK$4.13 billion net proceeds attributable to the group following the transaction's completion.
* The Victorian pipeline of New Zealand retirement village and rest home operator Ryman Healthcare surpassed the A$1.5 billion mark after acquiring a site in the suburb of Aberfeldie in Melbourne's northwest, the AFR reported. Ryman CEO Gordon MacLeod said the company's goal is to have five villages opened in Melbourne by 2020.
* Billionaire investor Alex Waislitz is mulling to increase the amount he lends to property developers and smaller companies to A$100 million from A$20 million, the AFR reported. The expanded allocation could potentially be invested through a proposed listed investment company or an unlisted fund that Waislitz might reportedly establish with Centennial Property Group Pty. Ltd.
Hong Kong and China
* Xi'an Lijun Real Estate Development Co. Ltd. filed a lawsuit against the owner of two sites in Xi'an, China, that a Shimao Property Holdings Ltd. subsidiary is looking to buy as part of a nearly 2.33 billion-yuan deal. Shanghai Zhenxiao Enterprises Management Co. Ltd., a Shimao Property joint venture, was also named as a third-party to the case.
According to a filing, certain disagreements on commercial terms are hindering the completion of the deal that would add about 468,782 square meters to Shimao Property's portfolio.
* Diversified property developer Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. collected nearly HK$400 million from the sale of 78 units at its Mount Regency project in Tuen Mun, Hong Kong, that were sold out in three hours, the South China Morning Post reported. Wheelock Properties Ltd., on the other hand, raised HK$700 million within one and a half hours of marketing 50 units at its Grand Oasis project in the Kai Tak area of Kowloon.
* Frasers Property Ltd.'s Frasers Hospitality subsidiary is aiming to expand its portfolio in China's first- and second-tier cities by about 85% to 30 properties over the next few years. The announcement comes as the hospitality company launches the 259-unit Fraser Suites Dalian within the mixed-use Europark Tower development in the Donggang business district of Dalian, China, marking its 16th property in the country.
* An application was made by a director of Shaw Brothers Studio to the Town Planning Board of Hong Kong to redevelop the studios into residential, commercial and residential institution uses. The development plan proposes to build 749 residential units with an average area of 1,422 square feet, 183 hotel rooms and 134 dorm rooms.
* The local government of Chengdu, China, will launch 25,382 long term rental units into the market this year, the National Business Daily reported. According to the housing management bureau, there are now 600,000 rental units and 20,000 long term rental units available under 48 rental property management companies.
* Listed property companies ESR-REIT and Viva Industrial Trust are merging under an approximately S$936.7 million scheme of arrangement to form what would be the fourth-largest industrial real estate investment trust in the city-state, with a roughly S$3.0 billion portfolio.
Viva Industrial's stapled security holders will receive 96 Singapore cents per stapled security as part of the agreement that will be subject to the approval of the merging parties' unit holders, among other conditions.
* An affiliate of local conglomerate Royal Golden Eagle is acquiring the Chinatown Plaza commercial and residential site along Craig Road under a S$260 million en-bloc transaction, The (Singapore) Business Times reported. The site spanning an estimated 33,953 square feet has the potential to be developed into a roughly 135,742-square-foot project.
* Mitsui Fudosan Co. Ltd. plans to increase its overseas investment to ¥1.5 trillion, or half of company-wide investment, by 2025, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported.
* Hotel construction activity is booming in the Saitama Prefecture in anticipation of high demand from inbound tourism, The Nikkei reported. Tobu Railway Co. Ltd. will open new hotels in Wako and Kawagoe in 2020.
Other real estate news
* Seoul-based Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. Ltd. is marketing two towers within the Rochavera Corporate Towers complex in Sao Paulo. The planned sale of the properties with an estimated value of 1 billion reais is reportedly attracting the interest of various real estate companies such as Cyrela Commercial Properties SA, which has an existing joint venture with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for investing in office properties in the country.
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Rollen Catorce, Emily Lai and Jaekwon Lim contributed to this report.
As of May 18, US$1 was equivalent to 3.76 reais, 6.38 yuan, NZ$1.45 and S$1.34.