UK – London & Stamford is in "advanced" merger discussions with out-of-town retail operator Metric over an all-share deal that would give London & Stamford 75% of the combined group.
If it goes ahead, the merger will combine Metric's portfolio of supermarkets and out-of-town retail parks back with London & Stamford's diverse accumulation of office, residential and logistics.
The firm sold its jointly owned 50% share of shopping centre Meadowhall to the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund in October.
In a statement, Metric chief executive Andrew Jones said the merged REIT would create the "scale, diversity and liquidity" to exploit opportunities for assets brought to the market as a result of current leveraging.
It is unclear whether the proposed group will target specific sectors – or retain its domestic focus, with a preponderance of assets in secondary locations.
Nor was it clear what would happen to existing joint ventures such as that between London & Stamford and PSP Investments, the CAD64.5bn (€51bn) Canadian public sector pension-fund manager.
The partners signed a three-way £200m (€250.2m) agreement with Middle East investor Green Park Investments in June to invest in the London residential market via a co-investment model with house buyers.
PSP did not respond to requests for comment on its plans before deadline.
Metric's major shareholders include not only APG, its largest with more than 9%, and the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), which owns just under 9%, but also the Merseyside pension scheme, which owns almost 4%.
A spokesman at APG, which is also a shareholder in London & Stamford, said the Dutch pension fund manager never commented on individual investments, especially when they were the subject of merger discussions.