REAL ESTATE - The Blackstone group has ended up as winner of the bidding war, by Equity Office Properties’ decision to agree with its $39bn all-cash offer.

After EOP’s board of trustees had already reaffirmed their acceptance of the Blackstone’s initial bid, 92% of its shareholders have voted in favour of a take-over by Blackstone, it said.

In the meantime, Blackstone had raised its offer of $54 per EOP share to $55.50, in response to a bid by a syndicate, led by property investor Vornado Realty Trust. Vornado was willing to pay $56 per EOP share, of which up to 55% upfront in cash, and the remaining part in Vornado shares.

"The board had been advised that it could take six months to close the Vornado transaction. As a result, the net present value of the Vornado offer is between $54.28 and $54.88 per share, even after taking into account the promised interim dividend," EOP said.

The €209bn civil service pension fund ABP has a stake of almost 4% in EOP, as part of its €10bn US real estate portfolio, a spokesman told IPE earlier. ABP is also shareholder at Vornado, in which it is has a stake of over 4%, he said.

The €81bn healthcare scheme PGGM has previously owned a stake in EOP, but has largely sold its shares now, a spokeswoman stated.

EOP is the largest publicly held office building owner and manager in the US. Its portfolio comprises of almost 590 buildings, totalling 10.5m m2 of office space in the country’s major metropolitan markets.

Meanwhile, ABP has appointed Jeroen Schreur, 36, as leader of its new Hong Kong office. As of 6 March, he will be heading the 12-strong team, which will focus on investments in real estate and infrastructural projects in Asia. Up to now, Schreur has been chief operational officer in the New York office of ABP.