Blackstone  sells  stake  in Embassy Office Parks for ₹2,025 cr
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Blackstone has sold shares worth approximately ₹2,025 crore ($275 million) in Embassy Office Parks REIT, representing 5.7% of the company’s market value, a person with knowledge of the deal said.

The private equity (PE) firm sold 57 million shares through 14 affiliate entities at an average price of ₹355.2.

This brings Blackstone’s stake in Embassy Office Parks down to approximately 32% from 38% before this deal. Blackstone’s exposure in Embassy REIT before this transaction stood at $1.7 billion.

Blackstone declined to comment on the transaction.

The exit was an attempt to provide liquidity to Blackstone’s limited partners, or investors in its fund, and the PE remains the largest shareholder in Embassy, the person cited above said on condition of anonymity.

Capital Group, Dutch Asset Manager, Nordea Bank, ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, and HDFC Life were among the buyers.

Embassy REIT owns and operates a 42.4 million square feet portfolio across the office markets of Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, and the national capital region, the company said.

Embassy Office Parks REIT collected nearly 100% of its office rent for the financial year ended 31 March 2021, despite the coronavirus outbreak, chairman Jitendra Virwani said in the company’s FY21 annual report filed in June.

The company reported a 36% increase in its net operating income to ₹621.3 crore for FY21, up from ₹459.1 crore in FY20.

This is Blackstone’s third partial exit from Embassy Office Parks after the latter became the first Real Estate Investment Trust to go public in 2019. It sold shares worth ₹2,275 crore or $300 million in June 2020.

In December last year, Blackstone and Embassy Group sold TechVillage to Embassy REIT and took additional cash out. Blackstone’s portion of the cash is not known for this deal. However, at the time, Embassy raised $501 million by selling shares to institutional investors, which diluted Blackstone’s stake to 38% from 46%.

Separately, this would also be Blackstone’s fifth exit event this year in India after its partial exits from Sona Comstar and TaskUS share sales. Three Blackstone funds also rolled over stakes in Mphasis Ltd earlier this year, which provided its earlier limited partners with a liquidity option. Blackstone also sold its stake in Aakash Education Services to Byju’s for $2 billion earlier this year.

In investments, the PE fund acquired businesses such as Simplilearn and acquired a stake in Byju’s as a consequence of the Aakash transaction.

Separately, Blackstone is also in the process of acquiring a 74% stake in wealth manager Ask Group. Blackstone’s real estate investments in the country amount to $12 billion to date, but its assets under management in India is over $50 billion.

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