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Global Logistic Said to Be Preferred Bidder for LaSalle’s Assets

Global Logistic Properties Ltd. was selected to begin exclusive negotiations to buy about 140 billion yen ($1.8 billion) of warehouses in Japan, two people with direct knowledge of the deal said.

Global Logistic, based in Singapore, will begin the talks with seller LaSalle Investment Management Inc., said the people, who asked not to be identified before the negotiations are completed. Hideko Takee, a spokeswoman for LaSalle, declined to comment.

At least three other companies including Mitsubishi Corp., Kenedix Inc. and Blackstone Group LP had submitted proposals in an earlier round of bidding, four people familiar with the deal said this month. The properties held by LaSalle include 24 warehouses in cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, they said.

The sale would be the biggest since Mori Trust Co. paid 231 billion yen for Tokyo’s Toranomon Pastoral Hotel in 2007. The investors are bidding four months after the March 11 earthquake, Japan’s worst temblor, and as more companies are forecasting increased hiring and investment in anticipation of higher demand this year.

Global Logistic, an operator of warehouses near seaport hubs and partly owned by Government of Singapore Investment Corp., said in a statement today it declined to comment on market speculation, adding that it “explores growth opportunities in important logistics markets.”

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