UBS has been appointed to sell Blackstone’s majority stake in Valad Europe, the European real estate investment manager with €4.9bn under management, crystallising the private equity giant’s investment profit ahead of the fund’s maturity in August 2016.
Blackstone and Valad Europe, who jointly selected UBS, have together already handpicked a short list of potential investors to replace the majority shareholding held by Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI.
The process is at an early stage with UBS appointed under a month ago, but it is expected that one, rather than multiple, investors will acquire Blackstone’s stake.
The disposal could take until the New Year to finalise and reflects a logical divestment for Blackstone, having acquired the stake in a closed-ended fund which matures in less than two years’ time.
Valad Europe operates two distinct business lines: real estate investment management on behalf of third party investors and creditors, such as the workouts of the Gemini and Bridge CMBS loans, and direct real estate ownership through a series of co-investment managed funds.
Over the last four years, Valad Europe has secured, stabilised and traded, in excess of €3bn of legacy bank and CMBS loan workout assets under management.
Valad has a network of 22 local offices in 13 countries throughout Europe, managing around 430 commercial properties worth €4.9bn across 20 mandates, including €1bn in developments.
Valad Property Group’s corporate history dates back to the 1960s, as Teesland, which listed in 2002.
Two years later, in 2004, Teesland acquired the iOG Group. The rebranded Teesland iOG was itself acquired by in January 2007 for around £200m, a real estate firm formerly majority-owned by Kevin McCabe, the former chairman of Sheffield United football club.
Blackstone took Valad Europe private following its acquisition of the Australian-listed Valad Property Group (VPG) in April 2011.
All parties declined to comment.