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FRANKFURT-Expanding its holdings on both sides of the globe, GE Real Estate has inked major deals in Europe and Asia. In a $98-million transaction, GE Real Estate Germany has acquired a portfolio of seven mixed-used assets from a private individual. And GE Real Estate in Japan has launched a new business to develop “Ecomagination” condos, in a partnership with Meiho Enterprise Co.

The acquisition in Germany includes office, warehouse, residential and retail properties that are located in Frankfurt, Bremen and Hannover. According to GE, the assets are a mixture of long-term let prime offices and properties where GE Real Estate has identified the opportunity to unlock additional value through its active asset management and refurbishment capabilities. The portfolio is currently 75% occupied, with an average lease length of six years.

The acquisition will help GE Real Estate increase its exposure to the Frankfurt office market, which is predicted to benefit from increased rents and attractive returns. Last year, rents in Frankfurt increased by 7.1%, according to the Office Market Report 2008, to be published by Atisreal, a German commercial property consultant, in February. Atisreal predicts another strong year for German commercial real estate in 2008.

“The acquisition of this portfolio helps us to fulfill a strategic aim of expanding our exposure to the Frankfurt market, whilst broadening our focus across a number of different sectors,” Rainer Thaler, managing director of GE Real Estate Germany, says in a prepared statement. “The favorable predictions for the Frankfurt office market support our strategy of expansion in this key area, and we are confident that through our asset management skills we can continue to unlock value going forward.”

Meanwhile, in Japan, GE Real Estate has forged a partnership to develop environmentally friendly condos along with Meiho Enterprise Co. The partners will collaborate on further development of Meiho’s “Shellze” building complexes, as well as sales of completed condominiums.

At the end of this month, GE Group’s New Mission Funding Corp. will receive a third-party share allocation from Meiho Enterprise. The move will give the company a 4.8% holding in outstanding shares of Meiho Enterprise.

In addition to marking its entry into the business of developing “Ecomagination” condos, GE Real Estate sees the partnership as the basis for a larger effort to promote the Japan For-Sale Residential Development Program. Meiho Enterprise, for its part, will now be able to shift into high gear with its condominium building operations because of easier access to enterprise funding thanks to the partnership with GE Group.

Since May 2005, GE has been promoting the “Ecomagination” initiative, the commitment to tackling global environmental problems with innovative new products and services. Furthermore, GE Real Estate has been in cooperation with the Clinton Climate Change Initiative since November, strengthening its environmental efforts in the real estate field on a worldwide basis.

In the partnership with Meiho, the two companies with collaborate on land purchases, construction orders and sales of environmentally friendly condos. GE will offer its expertise in financial arrangement to help Meiho procure the funding for condominium operations.

In addition, GE Group’s New Mission Financing Corp. will acquire newly issued shares in Meiho Enterprise through a third-party allocation. Meiho will issue 1.1 million ordinary shares. The New Mission Financing share allocation will be 460,000 shares. The share price will be about $10.

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