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Simon cashes out of venture that owns 46 Italian centers

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Simon Property Group Inc., the largest U.S. shopping mall owner, sold its stake in a venture that operates 46 Italian shopping centers for an undisclosed sum to its partner, French supermarket chain Auchan’s property unit.

Auchan’s Immochan acquired Simon Property’s 49 percent stake in Gallerie Commerciali Italia SpA, or GCI, to own the business outright, according to a statement Wednesday by the property company based near Lille, France.

“Immochan’s increased holding in GCI allows the Auchan Group to pursue its development in Italy,” the company said in the statement.

Indianapolis-based Simon has scaled back its presence in Europe. The company sold seven malls in France and Poland that were held in a venture with Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec to Unibail-Rodamco SE for $913 million) in 2010.

Auchan operates 51 large supermarkets, or hypermarkets, in Italy and 1,700 supermarkets. GCI’s centers lease 5.38 million square feet of property divided between 2,100 shops.

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  • Overseas Sales
    Good for Simon (SPG). Currently, the European (PIGS) Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain are likely to pull the Euro completely into a financial toilet. Italy is currently a very weak economy, and I like seeing this move by SPG. As for taxation on the sale of foreign held property, I do not believe we have a "repatriation tax" for such a sale, but that is for the accountants and tax lawyers to solve. I like the overall management strategies of SPG. Good Company!
  • make sure
    Make sure they pay some kind of tax here in indiana. It is unfair that they have centers in other states or countries but their headquarters are here. Level the playing field and make them pay the state some fair share tax revenue because we have all of these good ideas that we want to force ont he public.

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