Blackstone sells 57 mn units in Embassy Office Parks REIT for over Rs 2k cr

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Global fund Blackstone has sold its shares in Embassy Office Parks REIT for over Rs 2,000 crore (USD 275 million), representing 5.7% of the company’s market value, as a part of its strategy to monetize part of its investment, source said.

Embassy Office Parks REIT is the country’s first real estate investment trust (REIT) sponsored by realty firm Embassy group and Blackstone. Embassy REIT got listed on the stock exchanges in April 2019 after raising nearly Rs 5,000 crore through public issue.

The private equity firm sold 57 million shares through 14 affiliate entities at Rs 355.2 apiece, totaling around Rs 969 crore.

This brings Blackstone’s stake in Embassy Office Parks down to approximately 32% from 38% before this deal. Blackstone’s exposure in Embassy REIT before this transaction stood at $1.7 billion.

When contacted, Blackstone, Embassy group and Embassy Office Parks REIT declined to comment.

The exit was an attempt to provide liquidity to Blackstone’s limited partners, or investors in its fund, and the PE remains the largest shareholder in the Embassy, source said.

Capital group, Dutch Asset Manager, Nordea Bank, ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, and HDFC Life were among the buyers.

This is Blackstone’s third partial exit from Embassy Office Parks after the latter became the first Real Estate Investment Trust to go public in 2019. It sold shares worth Rs 2,275 crore or $300 million in June 2020.

In December last year, Blackstone and Embassy group sold TechVillage to Embassy REIT and took additional cash out. Blackstone’s portion of the cash is not known for this deal. However, at the time, Embassy raised $501 million by selling shares to institutional investors, which diluted Blackstone’s stake to 38% from 46%.

Separately, this would also be Blackstone’s fifth exit event this year in India after its partial exit from Sona Comstar and TaskUS share sales. Three Blackstone funds also rolled over stakes in Mphasis Ltd this year, which provided its earlier limited partners with a liquidity option. Blackstone also sold its stake in Akash Education Services to Byju’s for $2 billion earlier this year.

In investments, the PE fund acquired businesses such as Simplilearn and acquired a stake in Byju’s as a consequence of the Akash transaction.

Separately, Blackstone is also in the process of acquiring a 74% stake in wealth manager Ask Group. Blackstone’s real estate investments in the country amount to $12 billion to date, but its assets under management in India is over $50 billion.



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