Blackstone bags $1.9bn retail portfolio

The world’s largest asset manager will purchase 49 properties from a Canadian REIT, the groups announced Friday.

The Blackstone Group will buy a 49-property retail portfolio from RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust for C$2.7 billion ($1.9 billion), Canada’s largest REIT said Friday.

Blackstone, the New York-based alternative asset manager, bought the portfolio using capital from Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII (BREP VIII), a $15.8 billion fund that closed in October. The properties, which total 13 million square feet, are located in the northeastern US and in Texas. RioCan, based in Toronto, assembled the portfolio from November 2009 through September 2015 for about C$1.7 billion.

Other recent purchases from BREP VIII include last month’s $2 billion acquisition of a 10,399-unit apartment portfolio from Greystar Real Estate Partners and the $5.3 billion joint purchase of Manhattan’s Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village with Ivanhoé Cambridge in October.

Major investors in BREP VIII include the South Dakota Investment Council, which allocated $334 million; and Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System and the New York State Common Retirement Fund, all of which committed $300 million each, according to PERE Research & Analytics.

RioCan said it was selling the properties to focus on its Canadian holdings. Before the sale to Blackstone, the REIT owned 354 retail properties comprising about 78 million square feet, according to a statement from the company.