Britain's Landsec to buy property regeneration firm U+I for $260 million

(Reuters) -British commercial landlord Land Securities said on Monday it would buy U and I Group (U+I) for 190 million pounds ($260 million), in an effort to expand its portfolio of mixed-use developments.

Battered by the pandemic and an extended rent moratorium, many companies that rent out office and retail spaces are looking to serve Britain’s under-supplied housing market through mixed-use development, where residential and commercial properties coexist.

The 149-pence-per-share offer for U+I represented a premium of 73.3% to the stock’s Friday closing price. U+I shares surged about 73% to 148.5 pence, a tad below the offer price, in early trade.

Landsec said the deal aligned with its strategy to generate higher returns through urban developments.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the blurring of lines between where people live, work and socialise. In response to this, mixed-use developments with a clear sense of place are becoming a more important part of the fabric of cities,” Landsec said in a statement.

U+I, which specialises in regenerating developments, operates in the London City Region, as well as Manchester and Dublin.

($1 = 0.7323 pounds)

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