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Blackstone sells $1.5bn Wexford assets

The all-cash sale between the New York-based asset manager and real estate investment trust (REIT) Ventas involved a portfolio of 23 buildings leased to a mixture of universities and pharma firms.

Blackstone has sold the life science and medical real estate assets of office space developer Wexford Science & Technology to real estate investment trust (REIT) Ventas for $1.5 billion. 

Blackstone declined to comment but a person with knowledge of the transaction told PERE's sister paper, Private Healthcare Investor, that Wexford came as part of BioMed Realty Trust, a REIT that Blackstone acquired last October for $8 billion, a deal hampered by a series of class-action lawsuits.

The sale was for all of Wexford bar one small legacy development still in process, the person said.

The all-cash sale comprised 23 buildings that are leased by universities, academic medical centres and research companies, including Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Alexion Pharmaceuticals and two development properties expected to open in 2017.

“This transaction provides Ventas a unique opportunity to capitalise on increasing healthcare-driven research and development spurred and supported by top-tier research universities. We believe the growth opportunity is significant, and look forward to working with Wexford to help leading universities, academic medical centers and research companies fulfill their core missions,” said Ventas chairman and chief executive officer Debra Cafaro.

Alongside the $1.5 billion, Ventas will assume $33 million of liabilities.

Wexford is a real estate development company which partners with universities, academic medical centers and research companies.

The sale was an exit for Blackstone’s Real Estate Partners VIII fund, a $15.8 billion vehicle which closed in October last year.

Blackstone’s real estate business, founded in 1991, has about $92 billion in assets under management and a portfolio of hotels, offices, retail and industrial space and residential properties in the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Its parent company,

The Blackstone Group, manages $332.7 billion in assets.