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Blackstone nears 1 billion euros sale of Center Parcs resorts

London/New York

BLACKSTONE Group is in exclusive talks to sell a portfolio of Center Parcs Europe holiday resorts to German real-estate company Aroundtown, according to people with knowledge of the talks.

Aroundtown has agreed to pay about 1 billion euros (S$1.53 billion) for the seven properties, which are operated by Pierre & Vacances, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private. Eastdil Secured is advising on the deal, the people said.

Aroundtown has a pipeline of hotel and office acquisitions totalling about 1.5 billion euros, of which about 1 billion euros will likely be signed this quarter and completed before the end of the year, it said in a trading update on Monday.

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Blackstone bought the resorts in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany for about 630 million euros in 2006 from Pierre & Vacances, which also owns and operates other Center Parcs sites in continental Europe.

The New York-based investment giant committed to invest about 200 million euros upgrading the properties earlier this year when the leases were extended.

Blackstone also previously owned Center Parcs UK, a separate company, which it sold to Brookfield Asset Management.

Private equity investors have been pouring into European holiday parks that have traditionally been family owned, cutting costs and improving revenues by adding amenities and appealing to a wider audience. Brookfield bought Center Parcs UK for about £2.4 billion (S$4.1 billion) in 2015.

Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp agreed to pay about £1.4 billion for UK caravan park operator Parkdean Resorts a year later. BLOOMBERG