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Blackstone Said to Buy Mall, Warehouse Venture Stake

Aug. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Group LP agreed to buy a shopping mall in Hawaii with Glimcher Realty Trust and a stake in a warehouse venture with ProLogis for a combined $859 million, said two people with knowledge of the deals.

Blackstone, based in New York, is buying the Pearlridge Center on Oahu with Glimcher for $242 million, the people said. The private-equity firm also agreed to buy an 80 percent stake in a joint venture between investment funds managed by Eaton Vance Management and ProLogis, the world’s biggest warehouse owner, for $105 million and $512 million in assumed debt, according to the people, who declined to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

Industrial landlords are struggling to fill space and maintain rents after the U.S. recession, while Blackstone and Glimcher have been looking for retail acquisitions since they formed a partnership in March.

“We are actively looking for quality transactions with Blackstone but we don’t have any transactions to report at this time,” Lisa Indest, senior vice president for finance and accounting at Columbus, Ohio-based Glimcher, said yesterday in a telephone interview.

Jean Towell, a spokeswoman for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Milwaukee, which is selling the Oahu property, confirmed the property is for sale. She said she couldn’t confirm the price.

Keystone Property

Peter Rose, a spokesman for Blackstone, and Robyn Tice, a spokeswoman for Eaton Vance Corp. in Boston, declined to comment. Krista Shepard, a spokeswoman for Denver-based ProLogis, said the company’s policy is not to comment on market speculation.

In 2004, ProLogis and investment funds managed by Eaton Vance Management acquired Keystone Property Trust for $1.7 billion, including assumed debt. Keystone, of West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, owned 143 properties and development sites totaling more than 34 million square feet in the eastern U.S., including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indianapolis and Miami.

At the time, ProLogis formed five separate entities with the Eaton Vance affiliates to buy 22.9 million square feet of Keystone’s industrial properties. The Eaton Vance affiliates were to own 80 percent of each entity, and ProLogis 20 percent.

The Blackstone deals were reported yesterday by the Wall Street Journal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hui-yong Yu in Seattle at hyu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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