Blackstone to Buy Colony Warehouses for $5.9B

The private-equity giant has been building its "last-mile" logistics business amid a surge in e-commerce demand.
Matthew HellerSeptember 30, 2019
Blackstone to Buy Colony Warehouses for $5.9B

Private-equity giant Blackstone Group has agreed to acquire Colony Capital’s industrial warehouse business for $5.9 billion as it continues to build a logistics empire to support e-commerce.

The deal, announced on Monday, includes 465 “last-mile” warehouses owned by Colony’s industrial platform. They have a total of 60 million square feet and are located in 26 U.S. markets, with particular concentrations in Dallas, Atlanta, Florida, northern New Jersey and California.

Blackstone, one of the world’s biggest property investors, became one of the largest owners of U.S. logistics properties in June when it purchased the U.S. warehouses of Singapore-based GLP for $18.7 billion.

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The acquisition of Colony’s “high quality warehouses demonstrates our continued strong conviction in logistics and positive e-commerce trends,” Nadeem Meghji, head of Real Estate Americas at Blackstone, said in a news release. “As retailers continue to shorten delivery times and expand their last mile footprints, we believe warehouses in dense population centers will continue to experience outsized demand growth.”

As Reuters reports, “companies are spending billions of dollars to snap up logistics assets as a surge in e-commerce activity spurs demand for delivery and warehouse services.”

Blackstone has focused on last-mile logistics, which facilitate the movement of goods from a transportation hub to their final destination. Last week, it announced the launch of Mileway, a pan-European business that owns about 1,000 last-mile assets that Blackstone has acquired in the past several years.

“Last-mile logistics real estate continues to become an increasingly critical component of the global supply chain,” said Lew Friedland, managing director of Colony Industrial.

Colony Industrial was formed in December 2014 through Colony Capital’s acquisition of Cobalt Capital Partners, which was founded by Friedland.

“For Colony, the sale marks a major step toward pivoting its strategy to investing in digital real estate and infrastructure such as data centers, cell towers and fiber-optic networks and away from traditional real-estate holdings,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

Blackstone’s real estate business was founded in 1991 and has grown to $154 billion of investor capital under management.