Blackstone to buy 16 US office buildings from Morgan Stanley for $800 mn

The $3.19 billion private equity firm Blackstone Group is planning to buy a portfolio of 16 office buildings across six US cities from Morgan Stanley for about $800 million, The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The buildings came into a Morgan Stanley real-estate fund, when it acquired Glenborough Realty Trust in 2006 for $1.9 billion, the newspaper.

According to the WSJ, Morgan Stanley real-estate fund decided to sell the buildings to Blackstone rather than repay some $820 million loans due in December.

New York-based  Blackstone, which is scouting for investors to fund the deal, had last month agreed to buy 82 suburban office properties from Duke Realty Corp, for $1.08 billion.

Blackstone, which has more than $78 billion in assets under management, already holds $225 million in junior debt on the Glenborough Properties, which allows the buyout group to take control of the buildings and assume the remaining debt of around $600 million.

Blackstone has $41 billion in real-estate assets under management and has raised $4.6 billion for a new global property fund that is targeting $10 billion, said the paper.