Blackstone sells London office for £285m and markets Australian assets

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Blackstone has sold a London office building for £285m (€309m) on behalf of its Real Estate Partners Europe III fund.

The fund manager said Lacon London at 84 Theobalds’s Road was sold to a private investor.

The 220,885 sqft freehold property was bought in July 2013 for Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe III, which finished raising capital in 2009.

It was refurbished and repositioned following the lease expiry of the sole office tenant in 2014, before bringing in new tenants that included Arriva and Exterion Media.

Blackstone has also appointed real estate agents to sell three Australian office towers worth around AUD600m (€399m) in total.

The move means that the fund manager has more than AUD4bn the Australian real estate assets up for sale. Its retail platform of Australian shopping centres was put on the market in April, with hopes of attracting AUD3.5bn.

The office assets are all in central business districts (CBDs), including a building in Creek Street in Brisbane. There is also an office complex at 1 Castlereagh Street in Sydney, and an office building in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall.

Blackstone is expected find it easier to sell the offices than its retail portfolio, since CBD offices are keenly sought by global investors looking for exposure to the market.

Negotiations for the sale of Blackstone’s shopping centres have been protracted, with a marketing team of investment banks forced to revisit its strategy.

Rather than selling the portfolio in one line, it is now expected to be broken into portions.

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