Blackstone to buy PS Business Parks in $7.6 billion take-private deal

  Reuters Blackstone Inc on Monday agreed to buy real estate investment trust REIT PS Business Parks for 7.6 billion, including debt, as dealmaking activity in the real estate sector continues to thrive in the aftermath of the COVID19 pandemic.

  As part of the takeprivate deal, Blackstone said its real estate affiliates will pay 187.50 cash to shareholders of PS Business Parks, representing a 12 premium from the stocks closing price last week.

  Californiaheadquartered PS Business Parks operates a portfolio of industrial, business parks, office buildings, and multifamily properties located across California, Florida, Texas and northern Virginia.

  Mergers and acquisitions M&ampA activity involving REITs reached a record high in 2021, driven by a robust U.S. housing market, availability of cheap capital from low interest rates, and strong economic recovery from the pandemic.

  Blackstone, the worlds largest real estate investor, has been a prolific acquirer of REITs, helping drive transaction volumes in the sector to 140 billion in 2021, up from 17 billion in the previous year, according to real estate services provider JLL.

  Blackstone has already agreed to buy three REITs this year alone. Last week, it struck a deal to acquire student housing REIT American Campus Communities Inc in a 12.8 billion deal.

  It also agreed to pay 5.8 billion cash to buy multifamily housing REIT Preferred Apartment Communities in February, and in January, it announced a deal to purchase nonpublicly traded Resource REIT Inc for 3.7 billion.

  Blackstone said its acquisition of PS Business Parks is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

  Simpson Thacher &amp Bartlett LLP, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen &amp Katz, J.P. Morgan, and Eastdil Secured acted as advisers on the transaction.

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