Blackstone to buy Preferred Apartment Communities in $5.8 billion deal By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside The Blackstone Group headquarters in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 12, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

(Reuters) -Preferred Apartment Communities Inc said on Wednesday a Blackstone (NYSE:) Inc unit would buy it in a $5.8 billion deal, as the world’s biggest alternate asset manager ramps up investments in the red-hot U.S. housing sector.

Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust’s (BREIT) all-cash offer of $25 per share is nearly 40% higher than Preferred Apartment’s stock close on Feb. 9, a day before media reports on the company exploring strategic options including a sale.

The real estate investment trust’s shares shot up 7% to $25.04 before the bell following the news.

Blackstone’s offer comes at a time when a strong economic recovery, ultra-low interest rates and continued demand for bigger homes have driven up home prices in the United States. The private equity giant also bought Home Partners of America in a $6 billion deal last year.

Preferred Apartment Communities (NYSE:) is a rental apartment owner that primarily owns and operates multifamily properties, with investments in grocery-anchored shopping centers as well.

BREIT invests in stabilized, income-generating U.S. commercial real estate across key property types including residential, industrial, hotel, retail and office.

The terms of the deal include a 30-day “go-shop” period expiring on March 18, during which Preferred Apartment is allowed to seek alternate bids.

The deal is expected to close towards the second quarter of this year.

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