June 28, 2017 / 5:14 AM / 2 months ago

Blackstone agrees to buy Singapore-listed REIT for $650 mln

SINGAPORE, June 28 (Reuters) - U.S. private equity group Blackstone Group LLP agreed to buy Singapore-listed and Japan-focused Croesus Retail Trust (CRT) for S$900.6 million ($650 million), part of an trend of buyouts of real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Affiliates of Blackstone Real Estate offered to pay S$1.17 in cash per unit, representing a 38 percent premium to CRT's 12-month volume weighted average price, Blackstone and CRT said in a joint statement on Wednesday. The shares rose 10.9 percent to S$1.17 on Wednesday afternoon.

"Croesus Retail Trust has an established portfolio of quality Japanese retail assets. This transaction represents a good opportunity for Blackstone's real estate business to further expand its platform in Japan," said Christopher Heady, head of real estate Asia at Blackstone Group.

Blackstone Group is one of the world's largest institutional real estate investors and managed $102 billion of equity for real estate investments as of Dec. 31, 2016.

This year, Warburg Pincus-backed warehouse operator e-Shang Redwood agreed to buy an 80 percent indirect stake in the manager of Cambridge Industrial Trust. Cambridge Industrial Trust is now called ESR-REIT.

CRT, which is backed by Japanese real estate business conglomerate Daiwa House Industry Co Ltd and trading company Marubeni Corp, will be acquired through a "trust scheme" and delisted. CRT manages a portfolio of about S$1.5 billion.

Citigroup Global Markets Singapore Pte Ltd is the financial adviser to Croesus Retail Asset Management - the trustee-manager - while DBS Bank is the financial adviser to Blackstone Group. ($1 = 1.3854 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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