Daily News: April 13, 2015

Wells, Blackstone to Buy GE Capital’s Real Estate Assets

Blackstone and Wells Fargo announced signed agreements to purchase most of the assets of GE Capital Real Estate in a transaction valued at approximately $23 billion.

Wells Fargo agreed to purchase performing first mortgage commercial real estate loans valued at $9.0 billion in the United States, UK and Canada. Blackstone’s latest flagship global real estate fund, BREP VIII, agreed to purchase the US equity assets for $3.3 billion. These assets are primarily office properties in Southern California, Seattle and Chicago.

Blackstone’s European real estate fund, BREP Europe IV, agreed to purchase the European equity real estate assets, for €1.9 billion. These consist of office, logistics and retail assets, largely in the UK, France and Spain. The logistics assets will be integrated into Blackstone’s European logistics platform, Logicor, and the retail assets into its European retail platform, Multi.

BREDS, Blackstone’s real estate debt fund, agreed to purchase performing first mortgage loans in Mexico and Australia for $4.2 billion.
BXMT, Blackstone’s publicly traded commercial mortgage REIT, agreed to purchase a $4.6 billion portfolio of first mortgage loans primarily in the U.S. with Wells Fargo providing the financing. (Further details can be found in a separate release from BXMT issued simultaneously with this one.)

Mark Myers, head of Commercial Real Estate for Wells Fargo, said, “This is an important transaction in the commercial real estate industry and Wells Fargo is pleased to be working with our colleagues at GE Capital and Blackstone. The portfolio of performing loans we’ve purchased is a strong addition to our commercial real estate platform in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, which are all active lending markets for us.”

Jon Gray, global head of Real Estate for Blackstone, said, “We are delighted to partner with GE on another major transaction and we thank them for their confidence in us. We also thank Wells Fargo for our longstanding relationship, and for their swift execution on this investment. This transaction clearly demonstrates the unique scale and reach of our real estate platform.”

The transactions are subject to normal regulatory and other approvals. The initial closings will take place in the second and third quarter of the year.