Blackstone is betting on life sciences with a $ 14.6 billion deal


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Blackstone's Kathleen McCarthy with 440 Saw Mill River Road, Ardsley, New York and 1000 Gateway Boulevard in San Francisco, California (left) (Blackstone; BioMed Realty)

Blackstone’s Kathleen McCarthy with 440 Saw Mill River Road, Ardsley, New York and 1000 Gateway Boulevard in San Francisco, California (left) (Blackstone; BioMed Realty)

Blackstone Group has sold a portfolio of 93 life science buildings to a separate asset-controlled fund for $ 14.6 billion, a transaction that represents a profit of $ 6.5 billion since it acquired the property in 2016 .

The New York-based commercial real estate ambassador said investors had decided to stay at the BioMed Realty Trust, the second largest owner of life sciences buildings in the United States, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Blackstone’s profit from the sale is the third largest he has achieved in any fund he manages. Prior to the first transaction of its kind by Blackstone, the company considered disclosing BioMed or selling the company.

According to its website, BioMed’s properties are concentrated in the Gulf region of San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, Seattle and New York, as well as Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Morgan Stanley Investment Bank will also look for bids to see if there is a higher bid.

Demand for life sciences has increased, mainly as new treatments are being developed by start-ups instead of large pharmaceutical companies. The current demand for space has increased with the advent of Covid-19 as scientists work on vaccine development.

Kathleen McCarthy, global head of real estate at Blackstone, said BioMed’s life sciences portfolio did not suffer from declines in rental collections that plagued other industries. The occupancy of the portfolio is 97 percent, McCarthy told the newspaper, and about half of its tenants are working to test Covid-19 or vaccines.

Although the industry faces the risk of high laboratory maintenance costs and there may be a significant delay between research and sales of treatments to the public, other investors are on the rise.

In San Francisco, Sales, a publicly traded healthcare REIT based in Chicago, acquired a life sciences campus from Bain Capital Real Estate for $ 1.02 billion. Bain acquired the Genesis South San Francisco campus in 2015.

“Strong and growing capital flows to the life sciences sector are accelerating innovation and discovery,” said Debas Cafaro, CEO of Ventas.

[WSJ] – Georgia Kromrei


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