Deals wrap: Blackstone expands property empire

February 28, 2011

CENTRO/SHARESBlackstone has struck a deal to buy nearly 600 U.S. shopping malls and other properties from Australia’s Centro Property Group for about $9.4 billion, a person with direct knowledge of the transaction told Reuters on Monday.

Large financial institutions may need to make significant and potentially costly structural modifications to comply with new rules, bank regulator Sheila Bair told the Reuters Future Face of Finance Summit on Monday.

A new J.P. Morgan investment fund that targets privately held Internet and digital media firms is in talks to acquire a hefty stake in social networking and micro-blogging service Twitter, people familiar with the matter told the Financial Times. According to the report, the fund hopes to acquire 10 percent of the Internet messaging service for $450 million, which would value the company at about $4.5 billion.

“Glencore is priming analysts with in-depth briefings on its business ahead of a possible mega-float which could involve Qatar taking a stake in the world’s largest commodities trader,” write Reuters correspondents Kylie MacLellan and Regan Doherty. If it goes ahead, an IPO of privately held Glencore could value the company at as much as $60 billion according to Liberum Capital estimates, making it one of Europe’s biggest listings ever.

Ventas said it will buy Nationwide Health Properties for about $7.4 billion in stock, creating the largest healthcare real estate investment trust in the United States.

Imprisoned fraudster Bernard Madoff has been in a talkative mood lately. First came his headline-grabbing interview with the New York Times last month, in which Madoff claimed many of his biggest victims – banks and hedge funds – were complicit in his crimes, saying they “had to know” about his massive Ponzi scheme. In a new interview with New York magazine’s Steve Fishman, Madoff discusses in more detail how his massive fraud was a “nightmare” for him and that “even the regulators felt sorry for me”.

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