Blackstone unit raises offer price for Italian real estate fund

MILAN, April 10 Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:11am EDT

MILAN, April 10 (Reuters) - A unit of U.S. investment fund Blackstone has raised the price of its buyout offer for Italian real estate fund Atlantic 1, the U.S. company said in a bourse statement released on Thursday.

Blackstone's Oceano Immobiliare has decided to buy 7.38 percent of the closed-ended investment fund for 335 euros ($460) per share, and it is now offering to buy out other investors in the fund at the same price.

The Blackstone unit said if its offer is successful it would be prepared to invest a total 152 million euros to take over Alantic 1.

The offer price has now been raised twice from an original 295.55 euros per share, which was then lifted to 320 euros.

IDeA Fimit, which manages the Atlantic 1 fund, said in a statement on Monday that Oceano Immobiliare's previous offer of 320 euros per share was "not adequate".

Shares in Atlantic 1 rose 4.7 percent to 335, matching the new offer price at 0750 GMT.

The offer period was extended for a second time, from April 11 to April 17.

Assets in the Atlantic 1 portfolio include properties leased to oil and gas group Eni, Telecom Italia and retailer Carrefour.

As of April 4, Oceano Immobiliare had 21.54 percent of the Italian fund. The company said in Thursday's statement it had bought a further 0.26 percent of Atlantic 1 on the stock market on Wednesday.

As Italy's economy gradually emerges from a deep recession, foreign funds including Blackstone have looked to buy stakes in its companies and banks.

Blackstone signed a deal to buy a minority stake in fashion house Versace last week, and sources said in March that it was among bidders for the "bad bank" of Banco Popolare.

($1 = 0.7234 Euros) (Reporting by Isla Binnie; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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