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All eyes on London's Gherkin; Residential Secure Income tests IPO waters

Spoiled for choice

* London's Gherkin tower, at 30 St Mary Axe, has received more unsolicited bids, with the asset's price tag hovering around the £1 billion mark, The (U.K.) Times reported. Previously, Hong Kong-based sauces and condiments group Lee Kum Kee expressed interest in the skyscraper and approached its owner, Brazil's Safra Group, which has engaged GM Real Estate to advise on any offers.

Safra Group has continued to debunk claims it is exploring a sale of the tower, noting that the Gherkin is "a unique real estate asset," the publication added, citing a J Safra Real Estate spokesman.

New chapters, new beginnings

* Residential Secure Income Plc is getting ready for an IPO on the London Stock Exchange. The company, which is looking to become a real estate investment trust, is hoping to raise £300 million in the offering. The company's shares are expected to be admitted to trading on the London bourse on or around July 12.

* Dubai-based Equitativa (AD) Ltd., which listed the United Arab Emirates' first REIT, Emirates REIT (CEIC) Ltd., is aiming to float The Residential REIT (IC) Ltd. in 2018, Arabian Business reported, citing an interview with Chairman Sylvain Vieujot. However, a listing of the REIT, which is "in incubation," is only likely to materialize once assets total $200 million to $300 million, Vieujot told the publication.

Equitativa launched The Residential REIT, the U.A.E.'s first Sharia-compliant residential REIT, in February.

* Attacq Ltd. is working toward REIT status for the financial year commencing July 1, 2018, by focusing on income distribution and trimming debt facilities. In addition, the company plans to pay its first dividend of 73 South African cents per share for the year ending June 30.

Sweetened offer

* Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc., or KW, is adding an alternative cash-and-scrip offer to its all-share merger proposal for Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate, or KWE. KW is offering to exchange 0.3854 new KW share, 300 pence cash and a further 250 pence cash through a special dividend for every KWE scheme share as an alternative to the original offer comprising the exchange of 0.667 new KW share for each KWE share.

The cash consideration comes to £288 million. While the original offer valued each KWE share at about £10.30 apiece, the new offer values each KWE share at roughly £11.45.

If KWE shareholders choose the new proposal, KWE will own about 24% of the combined group, with KW owning the remaining interest, compared to the previously set ratio of 36/64.

Expanding horizons

* New Europe Property Investments plc agreed to pay €207.4 million for a shopping center and office complex in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Serdika Center retail asset spans 51,468 square meters of leasable space and is 99.3% occupied. The 98.6%-occupied class-A Serdika Office building covers a gross leasable area of 28,488 square meters and houses Citibank and Coca Cola, among other tenants.

* CLS Holdings Plc is set to buy a 12-property portfolio in Germany for €152.2 million. The portfolio, which offers a total of 963,596 square feet of multi-let office space, mostly in and around the cities of Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Stuttgart, is being sold by Züblin Immobilien Holding AG in a deal reflecting a net initial yield of 6.3%.

Bustling deal market

* Catella Real Estate has teamed up with two German church banks to set up a €260 million open-ended alternative investment fund which will focus on "churchly, charitable, diocesan and church-related institutions and foundations" in Germany, Property Investor Europe reported, citing the company. The KCD-Catella Nachhaltigkeit Immobilien Deutschland fund intends to allocate 40% to 60% of its capital to office assets; 20% to 40% toward retail real estate; 10% to 20% toward residential investments; and up to 20% toward properties used by churches, charities and other social causes.

* Derwent London Plc agreed to shed The Copyright Building at 3 Berners St. in Fitzrovia, London, for £165 million, CoStar U.K. reported.

German fund manager Union Investment reportedly outbid three other investors for a leasehold interest in the 107,150-square-foot building in a deal reflecting a net initial yield of just under 4.2%.

* Grosvenor Europe hired Knight Frank to divest its 133-year leasehold interest in the 10 Grosvenor St. office asset in London's West End for £140 million, representing a 4% net initial yield, CoStar U.K. reported.

* Watkin Jones closed the £165 million forward sale of six U.K. student accommodation developments, Property Week reported.

The portfolio was acquired by Europa Generation, a joint venture between Europa Capital and Generation Estates and comprises 1,691 beds and 14 residential units.

* Hines Global REIT Inc. is seeking buyers for its One Westferry Circus office building in London's Canary Wharf, PW reported, citing a company announcement. The building has an asking price of £123 million, representing a 5.15% yield, according to the report.

* Swedish construction company Skanska sold a university development in Kalmar, south Sweden, for 1.1 billion Swedish kronor to Intea Fastigheter, Property Investor Europe reported. The entire development, which comprises three buildings, will be valued at 1.4 billion kronor upon completion in 2020.

* Cairn Homes Plc is buying a slice of land within the Montrose campus of Ireland's national broadcaster RTE in Donnybrook, Dublin, for €107.5 million. The company inked an agreement for 8.64 acres of land that could accommodate up to 500 apartments and 10 houses.

From Australia to Italia

* A Risanamento SpA unit is joining hands with Australia-based Lendlease Corp. Ltd.'s Lendlease Italy for the €115 million CD Lots South development project in Milan, Reuters reported. As part of the partnership, Lendlease will have the option to buy the Sky Complex in Milan.

Exit bourse for a new course

* Russia-based PIK Group completed its delisting from the London Stock Exchange, but will keep its global depository receipt program running. The move consolidates all the company's shares on the Moscow bourse, where it listed in 2007.

London's Financial Times noted in March that PIK's abandoning of its secondary listing in London comes on the back of the Russian government's call for businesses to head back home following the imposition of western sanctions.

* Market Tech is set to delist from the London bourse after LabTech Investment Ltd.'s offer to take over the company became wholly unconditional June 9.

Featured this week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

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Conference Chatter: Brexit hits real estate as talent leaves UK, construction costs rise: The U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union is already damaging the country's real estate and construction sectors, according to a senior British Land figure who is in charge of one of the country's largest building projects.

Amisha Mehta contributed to this report.