Blackstone Group has punctuated a fourth quarter acquisition spree with the $1.25 billion purchase of a Shanghai commercial complex from funds managed by Singapore-based Mapletree Investments, according to sources familiar with the transaction who spoke with Mingtiandi.
The US alternative investment giant closed on the purchase of five buildings in the Mapletree Business City Shanghai office complex and the adjoining Vivocity Shanghai mall sometime last month, according to a notice on Mapletree’s corporate website, with the transaction first reported by the South China Morning Post on Friday.
The purchase adds to $1.86 billion in Blackstone commercial real estate acquisitions in the Asia Pacific region to have been revealed in the last month, including deals in Hong Kong, Sydney and India’s National Capital Region.
Blackstone Gets a Shanghai Commercial Complex
Following the closing of the transaction, Blackstone has taken possession of a set of five business park buildings in Mapletree Business city, within an office complex measuring 200,000 square metres in gross floor area, according to a listing on Mapletree’s website earlier this year, as well as the 120,000 square metre Vivocity Shanghai shopping mall.
The complex, which opened in phases starting in 2015, spans an 11.9 hectare site at the junction of Qixin Road and Gudai Road in the Xinzhuang area of Minhang district, and follows the retail-supported suburban business park model that Mapletree honed on developments in its home market of Singapore, including the original Vivocity mall and Mapletree Business 1 and 2.
The office portion of the project was pre-certified as LEED Gold by the US Green Building Council and the Aedas-designed complex has won a number of regional and international awards for its design.
SilkRoad and Five Bulls Also Went Shopping in Minhang
In the fourth quarter of 2016, Shanghai Five Bulls Fund purchased the 34,776 square metre building B in Shanghai Business City for RMB 1.0 billion, according to market sources who spoke with Mingtiandi. Then in the third quarter of 2017, Hong Kong-based private equity firm SilkRoad Property Partners purchased the 15,367 square metre building A in the complex for RMB 522 million.
With just over 50,000 square metres in the 200,000 square metre office complex already sold, Mapletree would have had approximately 150,000 square metres available for sale in this latest transaction, while the entire 120,000 square metre mall has changed hands.
Sources at Blackstone and Mapletree declined to comment on the deal, and the capital markets team at Cushman & Wakefield in Shanghai is understood to have advised on the transaction.
The terms of the agreement between Blackstone and Mapletree Investments for the sale and purchase of the five remaining office blocks and Vivocity Shanghai were not disclosed. The assets had previously been held by Mapletree India China Fund and Mapletree China Opportunity Fund II, according to official statements by Mapletree Investments, which manages the funds.
Blackstone is expected to rebrand the mall “Westlink,” the SCMP report said, quoting a person with knowledge of the deal.
Shanghai Deal Follows Sydney, Hong Kong and Gurugram Acquisitions
The US-based Blackstone Group’s acquisition comes on the heels of its reported $250 million purchase earlier in last week of a 50 percent stake of an office complex in another global real estate hotspot – Sydney – and also follows a December 12th deal it made to buy a dozen shopping centres in Hong Kong for about $1.5 billion in partnership with Goldman Sachs and Hong Kong-based Gaw Capital.
Blackstone’s Sydney acquisition — from the Hong Kong private equity group PAG — partners it with Australian property group Mirvac. Each side will own half of the complex, which includes the Metcentre shopping mall. Mirvac had the right to purchase the PAG stake, but declined, paving the way for Blackstone.
Also last week, Mumbai-based Indiabulls Real Estate revealed that it had entered into definitive agreements with Blackstone to sell the company helmed by billionaire Stephen Scharzman fifty percent stakes in a pair of commercial properties in the city of Gurugram, southwest of Delhi, at an enterprise value of Rs 464 crore ($66 million).
Michael Cole provided additional research for this story.