Blackstone (BX) has agreed to sell five Boston-area high-rise office towers to a group led by Canada's Oxford Properties for about $2.1B, reports the WSJ, citing multiple sources. Blackstone purchased the properties in 2007 as part of its Equity Office Properties acquisition.
The P-E firm sold many of the Equity Office portfolio before prices crashed, but held onto plenty, and over the last 18 months has picked up the selling pace. Last year, Blackstone sold $9B worth of office properties, up from $1.8B in 2012, and this Boston deal would mark Blackstone's largest U.S. office sale since the property downturn.
To be sure, Blackstone continues to be an active buyer as well, the latest being last week's $1.7B purchase of the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, but along with the quick pace of office sales have been the IPOs of Hilton Worldwide, Extended Stay America, La Quinta, and Brixmor.
The $11B 2007 real estate fund - which was used to buy the Boston properties - is now valued at $22B, giving investors an IRR of 13%, according to Blackstone.