MILAN, July 21 Qatar's sovereign fund could team
up with real estate company Hines to buy assets from troubled
Italian developer Risanamento, Il Sole 24 Ore reported
on Sunday, citing financial sources.
State-owned Qatar Holding has approached some of
Risanamento's shareholders to pave the way for a potential bid
on the assets the Italian real estate group owns in France and
its Santa Giulia redevelopment area, the Italian daily wrote.
The total value of the assets is unknown, but Qatar would
have to offer more than 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for the
French properties, the newspaper said.
The French properties and Santa Giulia are the crown jewels
of Risanamento, which escaped bankruptcy in 2009 when a court
made lenders Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit
its biggest shareholders, leaving Risanamento founder Luigi
Zunino with a minority stake.
In June Zunino presented a takeover bid for the whole of
Risanamento, valuing the French assets at 1.33 billion euros.
The company's shareholders are likely to review Zunino's
proposal at a board meeting scheduled for July 31.
Even with the involvement of the banks, the company is
struggling to return to profitability in the recession-hit
Italian real estate market.
Risanamento, the Italian unit of Hines and the Qatari
sovereign fund were not immediately available for a comment.
($1 = 0.7611 euros)
(Reporting by Francesca Landini; Additional reporting by Regan
Doherty; Editing by David Goodman)