(Bloomberg) — Blackstone Group LP agreed to sell a majority stake in 39 U.S. shopping centers to joint-venture partner Kimco Realty Corp. for $512.3 million in a deal that will almost double the firm’s equity investment.
Kimco will buy Blackstone’s two-thirds interest in the properties, which total 5.6 million square feet (520,200 square meters) and are in New York, Virginia, Texas, Florida, California and Maryland, the real estate investment trust said today in a statement. The transaction is valued at $925 million including debt, the company said.
Blackstone is selling some investments as it markets a new global real estate fund. The New York-based private-equity firm in October 2013 took public Brixmor Property Group Inc., the second-largest U.S. shopping center landlord. Kimco, the biggest, has been reducing its number of joint ventures and selling lower-quality assets to simplify its holdings.
“The transformation of our portfolio is in its final stage,” Glenn Cohen, chief financial officer of the New Hyde Park, New York-based REIT, said on an Oct. 29 earnings conference call. “We will continue to mine for acquisitions with redevelopment opportunities, but anticipate being a net seller in the fourth quarter.”
Blackstone bought the interest in the Kimco venture in June 2013 for an implied value of about $733 million including debt from the UBS Wealth Management North American Property Fund, according to a statement at the time. The firm invested about $260 million of equity, according to a person with knowledge of the investment, who asked not to be identified because the financial details weren’t public.
Peter Rose, a Blackstone spokesman, declined to comment.
Kimco’s U.S. occupancy rose 60 basis points to 95.5 percent this year through the third quarter, the company said Oct. 29. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.