Blackstone surges into Nordics with $3bn deal

The New York-based firm has agreed to acquire a 34 percent stake in a Norwegian investment management firm as well as a portfolio of Nordic properties for nearly $3bn.

Private equity real estate giant The Blackstone Group has made a huge push into the Nordic real estate market. The firm has agreed to acquire a portfolio of Nordic properties for NOK 22 billion (€2.48 billion; $2.7 billion) as well as a 34 percent stake in subsidiaries of Norwegian investment management firm Agasti Holdings.The New York-based firm is set to acquire the stake, principally made up of Agasti’s fund management arm Obligo Investment Management, for NOK 250 million. Blackstone will also acquire most of Obligo’s real estate portfolio which is currently held across ten funds.

Obligo will continue to manage a number of the portfolios to be acquired by Blackstone, as well as certain real estate portfolios that are not included in the transaction and portfolios within its shipping, private equity and infrastructure arms.

“We have had a long standing ambition to increase our presence in the Nordics,” commented James Seppala, head of European acquisitions at Blackstone.

“Following the acquisition of the real estate portfolio managed by Obligo, we will have a real estate portfolio in the Nordics which fits our investment strategy well. In addition, we will gain access to an experienced management team who will be responsible for a large part of our combined Nordic real estate portfolio.”

The all-cash deal for the Obligo properties has been made using capital from Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe IV – its latest opportunistic fund for the region that has €5.1 billion of equity commitments.

The transactions are subject to customary regulatory approval and is expected to take place by the end of the third quarter.