Strat Partners buys Ares real estate stake

The Blackstone-owned secondaries firm has snapped up BAML’s stake in Ares European Real Estate Fund III.

The Blackstone Group’s Strategic Partners has bought Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s LP position in Ares European Real Estate Fund III, according to a notice in the London Gazette, a British government publication for legal and regulatory notices.

A spokesman for Bank of America Merrill Lynch confirmed the sale, saying it was “part of our broader strategy to exit these investments for regulatory purposes”, making reference to the US’ Volcker rule, which limits banks’ private equity holdings.

The Ares fund was targeting $750 million in 2013 for investment in European real estate.

It was unclear at press time from which fund Strategic Partners invested or how much was paid. The firm’s Fund V raised $2.9 billion in 2011 while still a part of Credit Suisse; it is currently fundraising for Fund VI, which has held a $688 million first close on its way to a $4 billion target.

Strategic Partners could not be reached for comment at press time.

Other recent fund interests purchased by Strategic Partners include BC European Capital Fund VII and Doughty Hanson & Co. III, according to PEI Research & Analytics.