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Mall Giant Simon Buying 50% of Real Estate Investor Jamestown

Simon will acquire the stake from Jamestown founding partners Christoph and Ute Kahl. The Kahls will continue to be shareholders of the Atlanta-based firm, which had more than $13 billion in assets under management as of June 30.

(Bloomberg)—Mall giant Simon Property Group Inc. is buying 50% of the real estate investment firm Jamestown, stepping up its expansion beyond shopping centers.

Simon will acquire the stake from Jamestown founding partners Christoph and Ute Kahl, according to a statement Tuesday. The Kahls will continue to be shareholders of the Atlanta-based firm, which had more than $13 billion in assets under management as of June 30. Financial terms weren’t disclosed for the deal, expected to close by the year’s end.

Jamestown, founded in 1983, is known for projects such as Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco and Manhattan’s Chelsea Market, which it sold to Google in 2018 for $2.4 billion. The firm is a partner on Industry City, a 6-million-square foot (560,000-square-meter) complex on Brooklyn’s waterfront with a mix of eateries, stores, offices and manufacturing space.

“We have been impressed with Jamestown’s combination of sector expertise, dedication to driving creative placemaking, and reputation in the fund-management business,” David Simon, chairman and chief executive officer of Simon Property, said in the statement. “Jamestown is well-positioned for future growth, and we are excited about the continued expansion of Simon’s investment platforms.”

Simon Property’s stock dropped nearly 0.5% to $92.09 at 9:42 a.m. in New York Tuesday. The shares were down 42% this year through Monday’s close.

Jamestown will operate independently from Simon and continue to be led by CEO Matt Bronfman and President Michael Phillips. They will keep their ownership stakes, according to the statement.

The deal is one of the latest by Indianapolis-based Simon since it agreed to purchase rival mall owner Taubman Centers Inc. in 2020. Simon also partnered with Brookfield Asset Management Inc. to buy department-store chain JCPenney out of bankruptcy. Simon’s deal with Jamestown may help the company boost its returns on mixed-use development, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst  Lindsay Dutch.

The transaction “marks a shift from its prior, mall-focused investments and acquisitions, suggesting that mall rent growth remains weak and returns are higher elsewhere,” Dutch said in a note.

To contact the author of this story: Natalie Wong in New York at [email protected]

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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