Simon Property Group has announced plans to make an initial equity investment of about 182 million euros (approximately $214 million) in a commercial real estate venture it has agreed to form with Italy's Rinascente Group.The venture's initial value is approximately 860 million euros (about $1.01 billion), the companies said. Under the agreement between the two firms, Rinascente Group will contribute its existing shopping mall assets and development opportunities to the new joint stock company, Gallerie Commerciali Italia S.p.A., and then sell 49% of that new company to an affiliate of Simon Property Group. J.P. Morgan is advising Simon on the transaction and Mediobanca is advising Rinascente. Simon can be found online at http://www.simon.com.

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