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Agnellis invest in property firm and reportedly eye up private banks

Exor, the holding company of Italy's Agnelli dynasty, has announced that it plans to invest €100 million in Almacantar, a new company specialising in the commercial property market.

Founded by Mike Hussey and Neil Jones, two real estate professionals who have previously worked for Land Securities Plc and Grosvenor respectively, Almacantar aims to capitalise on commercial real estate investment and development opportunities, primarily in the market for offices in London and Paris.

Exor and other unnamed shareholders will provide Almacantar with €150 million that will allow the company to begin trading. According to statement from Exor, the Turin-based company will invest an additional €50 million subject to Almacantar raising further equity from new shareholders.

According to Belgian newspaper De Tijd, Exor is also bidding for the private banking arm of Belgium-based bank KBC. De Tjid says the other bidders are Anglo-Indian conglomerate the Hinduja Group, run by brothers Gopi and Srichand Hinduja. Neither Exor nor Hinduja have commented on the speculation.

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