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Blackstone bets on e-commerce with US$18.7 billion logistics deal

[SYDNEY] Blackstone Group LP is making a huge bet on the future of e-commerce, agreeing to buy USUS$18.7 billion of US logistics assets from Singapore's GLP Pte in what it says is the world's biggest private-equity real estate deal.

The deal gives Blackstone 179 million square feet of urban logistics assets, almost doubling the size of its US industrial footprint, the New York-based company said in a statement late Sunday.

Blackstone triumphed in an auction that drew bids from Prologis Inc. and Brookfield Asset Management Inc., according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Melissa Sachs, a spokeswoman for Prologis, declined to comment. A representative for Brookfield didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Logistics is our highest conviction global investment theme today, and we look forward to building on our existing portfolio to meet the growing e-commerce demand," Ken Caplan, the global co-head of Blackstone Real Estate said in the statement.

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The GLP portfolio includes about 1,300 properties, and counts Amazon.com Inc. as its biggest tenant, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier.

Blackstone Real Estate's global opportunistic BREP strategy will acquire 115 million square feet for US$13.4 billion, and its income-oriented unlisted Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust will acquire 64 million square feet for US$5.3 billion.

The deal is Blackstone's third-biggest ever acquisition, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

GLP was advised by Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs & Co. and Eastdil Secured LLC. Bank of America Corp. Barclays Plc, Deutsche Bank AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley & Co. were financial advisers to Blackstone.

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