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Starwood Capital, Vencom Buy 7 Swedish Retail Properties

Starwood Capital Group, a real estate investing firm led by Barry Sternlicht, acquired seven Swedish shopping centers from a unit of Kooperativa Forbundet for about 3.9 billion Swedish krona ($590 million).

Starwood, based in Greenwich, Connecticut, partnered with Stockholm-based minority investor Vencom Property Partners to buy 205,000 square meters (2.2 million square feet) of retail space in Sweden’s four largest cities: Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo and Uppsala, according to an e-mailed statement. Three of the locations include building rights to an additional 70,000 square meters total.

The acquisition marks Starwood Capital’s first in Sweden since billionaire Sternlicht founded the firm in 1991. Coop, Sweden’s second-largest supermarket chain, is the anchor tenant at each location, which are 96 percent leased. Other tenants include XXL, MediaMarkt, H&M and Systembolaget.

Starwood, which focuses on global real estate, has more than $29 billion in assets under management. The company said yesterday it purchased a majority interest in seven regional malls in the U.S., with 7.9 million square feet of retail space, from Sydney-based Westfield Group (WDC) for $1.6 billion.

Vencom invests in Nordic real estate. Kooperativa Forbundet is a consumer cooperative that operates grocery stores. Its property arm KF Fastigheter AB is selling the shopping centers.

German banks Aareal Bank AG (ARL) and Helaba jointly arranged financing. CBRE Group Inc. and Lindahl advised Starwood and Vencom on the deal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Beth Jinks in New York at bjinks1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeffrey McCracken at jmccracken3@bloomberg.net

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