March 11, 2013 / 7:08 PM / in 5 years

Blackstone, Canadian fund buy more of Gecina's debt

PARIS (Reuters) - Investment fund Blackstone (BX.N) and Canadian real estate fund Ivanhoé Cambridge said they had acquired 64.7 percent of the loans held by two Spanish owners of Gecina GFCP.PA, potentially paving the way to take an equity stake in the French real estate group.

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

Blackstone has bought 160 million euros ($207.7 million) in Gecina bank loans in partnership with Ivanhoé Cambridge, which is a part of Quebec’s public pension fund, according to a report in Les Echos newspaper on Monday morning.

The funds own around 1 billion euros out of 1.6 billion in outstanding debt, the paper said, raising the chances they will convert some into shares.

Blackstone and Ivanhoe’s statement on Monday did not confirm the figures given by Les Echos. Gecina was not available to comment.

Gecina manages a roughly 11 billion euro portfolio of offices, residential and student housing as well as health facilities, and is France’s biggest office landlord.

Reporting by Lionel Laurent; Editing by Mark Potter and David Cowell

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