July 21, 2013 / 2:25 PM / in 4 years

Qatari fund eyes assets of Italy's Risanamento - paper

2 Min Read

MILAN, July 21 (Reuters) - 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)

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