Business & Finance

Another domino toppled in the global real estate industry with the third major merger announcement in less than a month, as LNR Property Corp. agreed Sunday to be acquired by Cerberus Capital Management LP for $3.8 billion in cash and assumed debt. LNR, of Miami Beach, Fla., finances, develops, and manages shopping malls, hotels, office space, and warehouses. The company is a spinoff from home-building giant Lennar Corp. Earlier this year, they and a group of partners bought Boston's 21-acre Fan Pier development site and Newhall Land & Farming Co. of Valencia, Calif., with the intention of developing mixed-use properties north of Los Angeles. Cerberus, a leading New York private investor, completed the deal through its Riley Property Holdings subsidiary. It follows the $7.2 billion merger Aug. 20 between mall owners General Growth Properties Inc. and Rouse Co. and the $5.1 billion acquisition of General Property Trust of Australia by Lend Lease Corp. Aug. 6. In June, Simon Property Group of Indianapolis, the largest owner of malls in the US, agreed to buy outlet-mall operator Chelsea Property Group for $3.5 billion.

To recoup some of its heavy losses, WestLB, the private side of Germany's state-owned financial services company, is seeking buyers for its $1.1 billion stake in Europe's largest travel agency, Bloomberg.com reported. It said WestLB projects a sale before year's end of its one-third ownership of TUI AG of Hanover, Germany, the company formerly known as Preussag, which operates more than 3,700 offices, almost 300 hotels, and a wide range of support services for travelers. WestLB has reported losses of just under $5 billion over the past two years, Bloomberg. com said.

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