Blackstone to Pay Mirvac as Much as A$826 Million for Properties

A Blackstone Group LP affiliate will buy a share in a central Sydney office building for A$435 million ($404 million), and take options to acquire a further A$391.4 million of properties from Mirvac Group.

An affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Asia agreed to acquire a 50 percent stake in Westpac Banking Corp.’s Sydney headquarters at a premium to book value, Sydney-based Mirvac said in a regulatory filing. New York-based Blackstone has also taken call options on seven other “non-core” office, retail and industrial assets across Australia, the property trust said.

Blackstone last year plowed more than $1 billion into the Asia Pacific, with purchases ranging from Chinese shopping malls to Australian office buildings, in its quest to expand its presence in the region. The deal allows Mirvac, which has been seeking to dispose of lower-quality assets, to speed up that process, the company said today.

The transaction “underscores our long-term commitment to investing in the Australian real estate market,” Chris Heady, head of Asian real estate at Blackstone, said in the statement.

Blackstone’s potential acquisition of the seven assets -- an office building and two industrial sites in Sydney, two offices in Queensland and one in Canberra, and a shopping mall in Melbourne -- is also priced at a premium to their Dec. 31 valuation, Mirvac said. Mirvac will provide A$156 million in vendor financing over a maximum of four years at a rate of 8 percent a year, it said. Blackstone has the right to exercise the options anytime between July and September, according to the company.

Mirvac shares have risen 4.2 percent this year, compared with a 2.6 percent gain in the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index. Blackstone shares have dropped 4.8 percent so far this year.

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