Blackstone buys 50% stake in Chinese, SK malls for $480m

Blackstone has bought a 50% stake in three shopping centres across China and South Korea from retail REIT Taubman Centers in a deal worth US$480m.

The centres include the Starfield Hanam property in Hanam, South Korea; CityOn.Xi’an in Xi’an, China; and the CityOn.Zhengzhou asset in Zhengzhou, China.

The buyer made the acquisition through its Asia Core+ real estate investment unit, which focuses on office, logistics, residential and retail assets in quality Asian geographies and gateway cities, according to a statement.

“We think Blackstone will be a valuable strategic partner that can help us grow our platform in Asia,” said Robert S. Taubman, chairman, president and CEO at Taubman.

Chris Heady, chairman of Asia Pacific and Head of Real Estate Asia at Blackstone, said: “In partnership with Wangfujing in China and Shinsegae in South Korea, Taubman has built an impressive platform of three world-class and dominant shopping centres and we look forward to working closely together in the future.”

The deal is expected to close later this year, leaving Taubman with a 17.15% interest in Starfield Hanam.

The seller will also retain a 25% stake in CityOn.Xi’an and a 24.5% interest in CityOn.Zhengzhou.

Taubman’s net proceeds from the sale are expected at about $315m after transaction costs and third-party debt.

All three centres are located in big growth markets, and reported sales growth in the double digits during 2018, the buyer added.

Taubman owns regional, super-regional and outlet shopping centres across the US and Asia.

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