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Axa to Buy $450 Million Stake in U.K. Mall From Land Securities

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Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Axa SA’s property unit agreed to buy a 50 percent stake in a shopping mall and other assets in the English city of Bristol from Land Securities Group Plc for 267.8 million pounds ($450 million).

The purchase of Cabot Circus, about 115 miles (185 kilometers) west of London, also includes a stake in homes, a hotel and student accommodation, Paris-based Axa Real Estate Investment Managers said in a statement today. Hammerson Plc owns the other 50 percent of the assets and will take on the mall’s management after the deal is completed, Axa said.

Investors have been buying large shopping malls with leisure and entertainment facilities in Europe in the belief they will be less affected by Internet retailing. The shopping center at Cabot Circus has more than 120 shops and restaurants and occupiers include Apple, H&M and Harvey Nichols, according to London-based Land Securities’ website.

“We remain convinced of the ability of the retail sector to provide secure, long-term income streams,” Laurent Jacquemin, head of European transactions at Axa Real Estate said in the statement. “We will continue to identify and actively invest in prime retail assets across Europe.”

Axa Real Estate bought the stake in Cabot Circus on behalf of clients, according to the statement. It managed 8.5 billion euros ($11.4 billion) of retail assets at the end of March, including more than 30 shopping centers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Neil Callanan in London at ncallanan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net

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