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Blackstone’s BREIT Gets $4B Investment, Supports Annual Returns Of At Least 11.25%

Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman

The University of California will invest $4B of common equity in the $68B nontraded Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, with a promise that the investment will bring annual returns of at least 11.25%.

The investment represents a reversal compared with recent weeks, when investors have been eager to take their money out of nontraded REITs. So far on Tuesday, Blackstone shares are up 1%, against the S&P 500 being roughly flat.

Under the terms of the deal, UC Investments, the university system's investment arm, will put its BREIT shares into a venture with Blackstone, which will contribute $1B worth of its BREIT shares.

If the venture doesn't exceed an 11.25% annualized return over the six years that the university plans to hold the shares, Blackstone will make up the difference to UC Investments up to its $1B investment. If the venture does exceed the 11.25% hurdle, then Blackstone will receive an extra 5% incentive fee.

Since its inception, BREIT has posted 12.7% annualized returns, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In early December, both Blackstone and Starwood’s nontraded REITs told investors they were limiting redemptions after requests in November exceeded monthly and quarterly limits.

Nontraded REITs, which didn't exist just 15 years ago during the Great Financial Crisis — and in fact only have a five-year history — are in uncharted waters as investors line up to take their money out of the funds, Bisnow reported in December. 

BREIT capped November redemptions at $1.3B, with investors receiving about 43% as much as they requested. That was the first time it had to limit redemptions.

CLARIFICATION, JAN. 4, 9 A.M. ET: Blackstone's support for a 11.25% annualized net return for UC Investments is capped at its $1B contribution to the investment, and does not automatically guarantee that return each year. The story now reflects that fact.