Lend Lease Sells Melbourne Shopping Mall to Blackstone Group

July 2 (Bloomberg) -- Lend Lease Group agreed to sell a mall it runs in Melbourne to Blackstone Group LP, the world’s biggest manager of alternative assets. Lend Lease shares jumped the most in two-and-a-half years.

Blackstone paid A$360 million ($332 million) for Greensborough Plaza, according to a person familiar with the transaction, who asked not to be identified as the price hasn’t been disclosed. Vivienne Bower, a spokeswoman at Sydney-based Lend Lease, confirmed the sale by the developer’s unlisted Australian Prime Property Fund Retail of the mall 23 kilometers (14 miles) northeast of Melbourne’s center.

Blackstone, which is seeking $4 billion for its first Asian property fund, had $1.5 billion as of June 7, according to a letter sent to investors on June 12. The New York-based firm is focusing on China, India, Australia and Japan, a person with knowledge of the plans said in December, as the Asia-Pacific region’s economic growth attracts private-equity investors.

Blackstone’s New York-based spokesman Peter Rose didn’t respond to phone calls and an e-mail seeking comment.

Blackstone in November bought Top Ryde City shopping center in Sydney for A$341 million from receivers. The firm, in April 2011, bought Sydney-based Valad Property Group, which was struggling to pay off debt, for about A$700 million.

The shares of Lend Lease, Australia’s biggest developer, advanced the most since December 2010, closing 5.3 percent higher at A$8.58 in Sydney. Blackstone shares slipped 0.3 percent to $20.99 at the close of trading in New York.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nichola Saminather in Sydney at nsaminather1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net