Blackstone Said to Plan Sale of About 8,000 Berlin Apartments

Blackstone Group LP plans to sell almost 8,000 German apartments it bought in 2012 as the company seeks to profit from rising property prices, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The homes are valued at about 400 million euros ($536 million), said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Blackstone, based in New York, acquired the homes after the owner, Level One, defaulted on its debt. Most of them are in Berlin, according to one of the people. A London-based spokesman for Blackstone declined to comment.

Blackstone, the largest manager of real estate private equity funds, is trying to profit from demand for German homes as investors look for alternatives to lower-yielding fixed-income assets. Berlin apartments have been among the biggest gainers, with values rising 8 percent in 2012, according to data compiled by Berlin-based online broker ImmobilienScout.

Level One was placed in insolvency administration in August 2008 owing creditors about 1.3 billion euros. At the time, Blackstone helped reorganize the German property investor’s debt.

In 2012, Blackstone acquired about two thirds of the 21,000 apartments and 700 commercial properties formerly owned by Level One for about 450 million euros.

The sale is drawing interest from buyers because it’s the largest German home portfolio on offer after Bayerische Landesbank’s Bavarian GBW portfolio, said one of the people. Those properties are valued at about 2.4 billion euros.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.