Simon Property grabs Klépierre stake

The biggest mall owner in the US, Simon Property Group, has become the largest shareholder of European shopping centre operator Klépierre.
Simon Property agreed to pay BNP Parisbas €28 a share for 28.7% of Klépierre in a deal worth about €1.52bn, said the Indianapolis-based company.
Both purchases will add to Simon Property’s funds from operations immediately.
The Klépierre transaction bolsters Simon Property’s presence in Europe after the company scaled back its presence in the past two years by selling stakes in ventures in France, Italy and Poland. Simon Property also owns a stake in UK operator Capital Shopping Centres Group.

Klépierre is the Continent’s second-largest publicly traded mall operator, managing or owning 271 centers in 13 countries valued at €16.2bn at the end of last year.

The deal will reduce BNP’s stake in Klépierre to 22%, France’s largest bank said. BNP put its controlling stake up for sale to strengthen its balance sheet to ride out the euro region’s debt crisis.