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Blackstone closes $5.7B, C$6.2B deals; Marriott acquires Elegant Hotels

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of U.S. real estate news stories and more published throughout the week.

Heavyweight deals

* The Blackstone Group Inc. completed its $5.7 billion acquisition of Colony Capital Inc.'s light industrial logistics assets and its affiliated industrial operating platform. The private equity giant bought about 60 million square feet of last-mile, infill industrial assets comprising 465 assets in 26 U.S. markets, mainly spread across Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Florida and New Jersey, via Blackstone Real Estate Partners IX LP. The closed transaction excludes the previously agreed-upon sale of Colony Industrial's 51% ownership stake in its bulk industrial logistics portfolio to Blackstone.

* Office landlord Paramount Group Inc. wrapped up its acquisition of the Market Center office complex in San Francisco in a transaction that valued the two-building asset at roughly $722.0 million. The property at 555 Market St. and 575 Market St. was acquired via a joint venture that is 67.0%-owned by the company.

* Truist Financial Corp. is buying Hearst Tower in uptown Charlotte, N.C., from office real estate investment trust Cousins Properties Inc. for $455.5 million in a deal set to close in March 2020. The nearly 965,000-square-foot building at 214 N. Tryon St. will be used as headquarters of Truist, which is a merged entity of BB&T and SunTrust Banks Inc.

* Canadian Apartment Properties REIT agreed to buy an eight-property, 99.9%-occupied apartment portfolio in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for C$391 million from QuadReal. The portfolio comprises 14 buildings with 1,503 rental suites, and the acquisition is expected to close by the end of January 2020.

* Healthpeak Properties Inc. paid $332.5 million to acquire the 224,305-square-foot Alewife Research Center in West Cambridge, Mass., from The Davis Cos., the Boston Business Journal reported. The property comprises a class A lab building and 331-space parking garage at 35 CambridgePark Drive.

* Employee union UNITE HERE urged lodging REIT Xenia Hotels & Resorts Inc. to declare special dividends using proceeds from the potential sales of its hotel assets. Xenia is reportedly seeking a buyer for its seven Kimpton hotels for approximately $500 million and has put two other hotels up for sale as well.

* Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc. will acquire the Block 21 mixed-use real estate development and entertainment business of Stratus Properties Inc. in downtown Austin, Texas, for $275 million. The complex includes the 2,750-seat Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, as well as the 251-room W Austin Hotel, the 350-seat 3TEN at ACL Live Club, and 53,000 square feet of other class A commercial space. The deal is expected to be closed in the first quarter of 2020.

Merry mergers and conversions

* Canada's Dream Global REIT closed its C$6.2 billion all-cash takeover transaction with affiliates of Blackstone-managed real estate funds, with the REIT's unit holders receiving C$16.79 per unit.

* Stockholders of Industrial Property Trust Inc. approved the planned sale of substantially all of the company's assets to affiliates of industrial REIT Prologis Inc. The deal is expected to close Jan. 8, 2020.

* Marriott International Inc. completed its acquisition of Elegant Hotels Group PLC via its International Hotel Licensing Co. subsidiary.

* Shareholders of Canadian real estate company First Capital Realty Inc. approved its proposal to convert into a REIT from a corporation. The company will rebrand as First Capital REIT by way of a plan of arrangement, which is slated to close Dec. 30, subject to final court approval expected Dec. 16.

WeWork space

* WeWork Cos. Inc. parent The We Co. sold Conductor LLC to the search engine optimization and content marketing technology company's existing leadership, employees and strategic investors.

Separately, San Francisco-based workplace management startup Eden made a bid to acquire rival Managed by Q Inc. from the coworking giant, The Real Deal reported, citing unnamed sources. Managed by Q co-founder and former Chairman Dan Teran also made a bid to buy back the business it sold earlier in 2019 to WeWork for $220 million, the report added.

* WeWork investor SoftBank Group Corp. tapped Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to arrange a $1.75 billion line of credit for the embattled coworking company before the end of 2019, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed sources.

Prepping IPOs

* Broadstone Net Lease Inc. hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. for its potential IPO in early 2020, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed sources, adding that the property company aims to raise approximately $600 million in an IPO that is expected to take place in the first or second quarter.

* Citigroup Inc. and Credit Suisse Group AG dropped out of Ucommune Group Holdings Ltd.'s planned IPO because of disagreements over an achievable valuation for the Beijing-based rival of WeWork, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources. The Chinese company recently filed for the IPO of American depository shares on the NYSE.

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