Hines is liquidating a non-traded real estate investment trust (REIT), selling most of the fund’s portfolio to Blackstone.
Hines, which first launched the US real estate fund in 2003, said it was taking advantage of “strong demand for high-quality assets by institutional buyers”.
Blackstone is buying seven West Coast offices for $1.162bn (€1.05bn) from Hines REIT on behalf of its Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII fund.
Hines said it was also selling all remaining assets in the fund, although it did not disclose the identities of the buyer or buyers. The asset include Chase Tower in Dallas, 321 North Clark in Chicago and a grocery-anchored retail portfolio located primarily in southeastern states.
Sherri Schugart, president and CEO of Hines REIT, said the vehicle was originally set up as a “perpetual-life vehicle, much like many institutional funds”.
She said: “Impacts from the great recession caused us to close the fund to new investors in 2009, so we began considering other options that could provide the best opportunities for enhancing stockholder value through the following economic recovery.”
In recent years, Hines REIT sold assets and reinvested proceeds into class-A West Coast offices.
“After our management and board of directors considered a variety of strategic alternatives to maximise stockholder value through a liquidity event, we are confident that the plan of liquidation achieves that goal,” Schugart said.
The portfolio sold to Blackstone comprises 3m sqft of space and includes the Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles.
Blackstone, which continues to make large real estate transactions around the world, has also agreed to buy a portfolio of industrial assets in Australia for AUD640m (€431m) from Goodman.