EDITOR LETTER: Seeing what sticks

It seems everything is for sale at the moment. Given capital values have either recovered from or surpassed their GFC nadirs in most institutional markets and are showing little sign of stabilizing, it is not hard to see why. Much that is being offered is shifting too.

In the space of 30 days we’ve covered: Blackstone and Ivanhoe Cambridge’s $5.3 billion purchase of New York housing complex Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village; Allianz Real Estate and UK REIT Hammerson’s €1.85 billion purchase of the loans behind the Dundrum shopping center-led Irish retail portfolio; and Brookfield Property Group’s €1.4 billion acquisition of the Potsdamer Platz portfolio in Berlin.

We are reporting on many assets coming to market too. For instance, LaSalle just pressed the offload button on a collection of retail properties in Japan. It wants more than $1 billion for six assets acquired within only the last two years. It is not just portfolios that are being hurried together either.

Indeed, the trophy cabinet doors have well and truly swung open as well. BlackRock has chosen to sell Asia Square Tower I in Singapore more than a year before it originally forecasted a sale, for example. Operating businesses are going too. Harrison Street’s $1.9 billion privatization of Charlotte-based student accommodation provider Campus Crest last month follows closely sizeable take-privates by Blackstone and Lone Star. Even the advisors are selling.

Following TPG, PAG and Ontario’s $2 billion purchase of Cushman & Wakefield and merger with already-owned DTZ, we’re reporting on NorthStar buying most of Townsend in a deal worth $380 million. GTCR, the private equity firm selling, never imagined an exit in just four years of ownership.

I mentioned heroes and villains were determined by their decisions to pull or not pull the buy trigger in the leader of PERE: A Decade, our 10-year anniversary magazine published in June. Given the ‘see what sticks’ attitude taken by a number of sellers right now, surely some of the decisions being made on the buy side will determine the next crop of both.

Enjoy the issue,
Jonathan Brasse
Senior Editor