Blackstone to buy Preferred Apartment Communities in $5.8 bln deal

Feb 16 (Reuters) – Preferred Apartment Communities Inc (APTS.N) said on Wednesday a Blackstone Inc (BX.N) unit would buy it in a $5.8 billion deal, as the world’s biggest alternate asset manager ramps up investments in the red-hot U.S. housing sector.

Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust’s (BREIT) all-cash offer of $25 per share is nearly 40% higher than Preferred Apartment’s stock close on Feb. 9, a day before media reports on the company exploring strategic options including a sale.

The real estate investment trust’s shares shot up 7% to $25.04 before the bell following the news.

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Blackstone’s offer comes at a time when a strong economic recovery, ultra-low interest rates and continued demand for bigger homes have driven up home prices in the United States. The private equity giant also bought Home Partners of America in a $6 billion deal last year.

Preferred Apartment Communities is a rental apartment owner that primarily owns and operates multifamily properties, with investments in grocery-anchored shopping centers as well.

BREIT invests in stabilized, income-generating U.S. commercial real estate across key property types including residential, industrial, hotel, retail and office.

The terms of the deal include a 30-day “go-shop” period expiring on March 18, during which Preferred Apartment is allowed to seek alternate bids.

The deal is expected to close towards the second quarter of this year.

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Reporting by Manya Saini and Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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