Blackstone Group is said to be in talks to acquire Chamtime Plaza, a commercial complex in Shanghai’s Pudong district, in a deal that could be worth more than RMB 10 billion ($1.5 billion), according to an account by Bloomberg.
The private equity firm is said to be in the early stage of studying the potential purchase of the combined retail and office centre from Shanghai-based developer Changjia Group, reported the news agency, citing an unidentified source familiar with the matter.
The report of the potential acquisition has surfaced less than one month after the world’s largest alternative asset manager agreed to a $480 million deal to acquire a 50 percent stake in the Asian shopping centre holdings of US retail developer Taubman Centres.
Contacted by Mingtiandi regarding the report of this latest Shanghai transaction, Blackstone representatives declined to comment. Shanghai-based representatives of a leading commercial real estate brokerage also told Mingtiandi that they were not allowed to comment on the potential deal.
An Asset in the Heart of Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park
Located in Zhangjiang High Tech Park in eastern Shanghai, the 320,000 square metre (3.4 million square foot) Chamtime Plaza is directly above the Jinke Lu station on metro line two. The complex comprises a 100,000 square metre shopping mall and five office blocks in the bustling, business hub.
Chamtime’s office space is said to be 100 percent leased to more than 80 high tech, finance and consulting companies, according to the developer’s website, and online leasing portals show that office space at Chamtime Plaza is currently available starting at RMB 6 per square metre per day.
The shopping mall features mostly mid-market clothing and food and beverage outlets serving office workers in the area, including Starbuck’s, H&M, Uniqlo, MUJI, Jack & Jones, Godiva, McDonald’s and Haagan-Dazs.
Established in 1992, Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park is a 25 square kilometre economic development zone that is home to 400 research and development institutions as well as accommodating multinational companies such as GSK, Roche, Intel, Dupont, Sony, eBay, Citibank and Bearing Point.
Shanghai-based Changjia Group was founded by Zhao Changjia, a former doctor in Chinese medicine, in 1992. Aside from the Chamtime project, the company has engaged in a number of villa projects and commercial developments in the Yangtze River Delta area.
Blackstone Buying Up Mainland Commercial Assets
US alternative investment giant Blackstone has added a number of high-profile commercial assets to its Asian portfolio in recent months. In mid-February, Mingtiandi reported that Blackstone bought a 50 percent interest in Taubman’s Asia’s share of three fully-leased shopping centres – one each in the Chinese cities of Xi’an and Zhengzhou, and a third in the South Korean city of Hanam – in a deal valued at $480 million.
In late December, Blackstone had agreed to pay $1.25 billion to Singapore’s Mapletree to purchase five buildings in the Mapletree Business City Shanghai office complex and the adjoining Vivocity Shanghai mall in the city’s Minhang district.
China’s deleveraging campaign has given foreign investors more opportunities to increase their presence in the China’s property market, Alvin Yip, president of capital markets for Greater China at Cushman & Wakefield, told Mingtiandi in an earlier interview.
Investment in Chinese commercial real estate rose 9.5 percent in 2018 to hit a record RMB 296 billion, with about one-third of transactions coming from overseas investors, according to data provided by Cushman & Wakefield.