Blackstone buys more of Gecina's debt - paper

Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:15am EDT

* Acquires 160 mln euros with Quebec pension fund-paper

* Seen raising likelihood of taking equity stake

* Blackstone, Gecina unavailable for comment

PARIS, March 11 (Reuters) - Investment group Blackstone has increased its holdings of Gecina's debt, French newspaper Les Echos reported, potentially paving the way to taking an equity stake in the French real estate group.

Gecina has been under the spotlight since two Spanish investment companies - Alteco and MAG Import - owning 31 percent of the real estate company filed for bankruptcy in October.

Blackstone has bought 160 million euros ($207.7 million) in Gecina bank loans in partnership with Quebec's public pension fund, the report said, citing unnamed sources. The funds own around 1 billion euros out of 1.6 billion in outstanding debt, it said, raising the chances they will convert some into shares.

Blackstone and Gecina were not immediately available for comment.

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