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Hines Said in Talks With Aviva to Buy Dublin Mall Stake

An affiliate of Hines, an international property investor, is in talks to buy a 73 percent stake in a Dublin shopping mall, five people with knowledge of the matter said.

The shareholding in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre is owned by Aviva Investors, manager of $437 billion of assets, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The 46,600 square-meter (500,000 square-foot) mall is the fourth-biggest in Dublin, according to broker DTZ. Spokesmen for Aviva and Hines declined to comment.

Hines, based in Houston, opened an Irish office in 2011 to target property and development sites being sold by banks and investors, the company said in a statement at the time. Retail-property values in Ireland are picking up after Western Europe’s worst real estate crisis. Store prices rose 0.6 percent in the third quarter from the previous three months, Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. said in a report today.

Aviva and Grosvenor Group Ltd., the London-based property company that owns 27 percent of the Dublin shopping center, had planned to sell the mall in 2011 for 350 million euros ($472 million), Property Week reported at the time. Grosvenor, owned by the Duke of Westminster’s family trusts, and the asset manager took the building off the market after it failed to attract acceptable offers, the magazine said.

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