Blackstone in Asia core-plus foray

New York-based private equity firm Blackstone has acquired a quarter stake in an office tower in Sydney for A$240m in what is thought to be its first core-plus strategy in Asia.    

The Blackstone Group has acquired a 25 percent stake in the ANZ Tower in Sydney for A$240 million (€162.72 million; $184.5 million), marking the firm’s first core-plus investment in Asia.

The sale of the interest was by the global real estate investment firm LaSalle Investment Management. PERE understands that the deal reflected a yield of 5.6 percent.

The investment was made by Blackstone as a core-plus mandate for a separate client, whose name wasn't disclosed.

The freehold prime office tower, which is ANZ’s (The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group) Sydney headquarters, is spread over 654,000 square feet. The remaining interest is owned by the unlisted GPT Wholesale Office Fund, a $4.8 billion fund launched in 2006 by the Australian property group GPT, which has a 50 percent stake in the tower, and the Australian superannuation fund-backed ISPT, which has a 25 percent stake.

Blackstone has been an active real estate investor in Australia since 2011, with a series of acquisitions and sales transacted for its funds and via its Australian real estate investment management business Valad.

In January this year, the firm sold Gold Fields House in Sydney to the Dalian Wanda Group, the Chinese property firm, in a deal valued at A$415 million, believed to represent a record price per square meter for an office transaction in the city. The price paid for the office building located in Sydney’s central business district reflected a cap rate of 4 percent and a price per meter of A$18,000.

This was preceded by the sale of Sydney’s Sheraton Noosa Resort and Spa for $110 million to a group of private investors.

Meanwhile, the firm added another niche real estate investment to its portfolio in November last year, when it formed a $150 million partnership with a developer of retirement communities in Australia. This investment was made via the firm’s Tactical Opportunities Fund, which has an opportunistic multi-asset class investment strategy focused on special situations.

Blackstone declined to comment.