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A €6B entity is born; Samsung nears Brussels buy

Market debutants

* New Europe Property Investments Plc and Rockcastle Global Real Estate's merged entity, NEPI Rockcastle Plc, made its debut on JSE Ltd. and Euronext Amsterdam on July 12.

Upon listing, NEPI Rockcastle had a market capitalization of roughly €6.1 billion, making it the largest listed property company in central and eastern Europe.

Meanwhile, New Europe Property, listed in Johannesburg and Bucharest, and Rockcastle, listed in Johannesburg and Mauritius, will be delisted from JSE July 18.

* With its entry into Spain's MAB alternative equity market, Kingbook Inversiones became the country's first listed petrol station real estate investment trust and the 36th REIT to list locally, as Property Investor Europe reported, citing local publication Cinco Días.

Upon listing, the REIT was valued at €23.9 million. It owns 57 petrol stations across the country, 56 of which are leased to Petrocorner.

Deal in sight for Samsung

* Samsung SRA Asset Management Co. is the frontrunner to buy a Brussels office building for roughly €380 million, Maeil Business News Korea's Pulse reported, citing unnamed sources from the investment bank industry.

The 77,000-square-meter property features two 14-story buildings fully leased to Electrabel GDF Suez SA.

Samsung SRA is leading the investment in a consortium with other financial units of Samsung Group, including Samsung Life Insurance Co., Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Co. and Samsung Securities Co.

Changing hands

* Drawing to a close three years of uncertainty surrounding the future ownership of London's Grosvenor House hotel, U.S.-based real estate investor Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. snapped up the asset for an undisclosed amount.

Previously, the Qatar Investment Authority was reportedly in talks to buy the hotel from the Sahara Group for around £600 million.

* Canada Pension Plan Investment Board agreed to buy a 50% stake in Milton Park in the U.K.'s Thames Valley for approximately £200 million from Hermes Investment Management. MEPC Ltd. will continue to run and develop the 250-acre asset.

* Wihlborgs Fastigheter AB paid 1.8 billion Danish kroner to buy a 15-property Denmark-based portfolio from pension company Danica in a deal that represents an initial investment yield of 6%.

The properties, in areas including Herlev/Ballerup, Høje-Taastrup, Ørestad and Hørsholm/Holte, will boost Wihlborgs' presence in the country by 165,000 square meters.

Thumbs up

* Polar Bidco Sarl, which is owned by funds advised by Blackstone Group LP affiliates, secured unconditional approval from the European Commission for its proposed acquisition of Sponda Plc in a roughly €1.76 billion deal.

The deal already has the support of Sponda's board and the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority.

* Israel's tallest building, the 238.5-meter Azrieli Sarona building in Tel Aviv, obtained occupancy approval, Globes reported.

The building, developed by Azrieli Group over six years at a cost of 1.6 billion Israeli shekels, is poised to house Amazon and Facebook.

Fundraising

* BlackRock reeled in £500 million for its BlackRock UK Strategic Alternative Income Fund, a hybrid fund built to invest in infrastructure debt, renewable energy, real estate debt, long-lease property and private credit.

* DEMIRE Deutsche Mittelstand Real Estate AG placed €270 million of rated, unsecured corporate bonds with institutional investors and asset managers.

The notes, which bear an annual interest rate of 2.875%, have a non-call period of two years and will mature in 2022. They are expected to be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.

Net proceeds will go toward partial refinancing of the company's existing liabilities that are due until 2019.

Two to tango

* Private equity giant TPG and Stoford Developments joined forces to launch a U.K. vehicle that will invest "hundreds of millions of pounds" in the logistics and industrial sector, Property Week reported.

The Icon Industrial joint venture acquired a 45-acre brownfield site next to Manchester Airport from the Airport City Manchester partnership and is planning to develop up to 952,000 square feet of logistics space on the site, worth a total development value of £100 million.

Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Keeping It Real Estate: OK Computer: UK retail landlords' digital battle to save nation of shopkeepers: With a perfect storm battering the U.K.'s bricks-and-mortar retailers, some of the country's largest retail property owners are looking to technology to boost their tenants' fortunes.

Santander seeks to grasp bad loan nettle with Popular partner plan: Seeking a partner to manage Banco Popular's troubled real estate assets could help new owner Banco Santander reduce its exposure to problem loans and boost its capital.

Amisha Mehta also contributed to this report.