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8 Biggest LBOs in Real Estate History


In our continuing quest to make you smart, here are the biggest deals in real estate history. Although many went down at the peak (or just before the crash in 2007), that doesn’t mean buyers necessarily overpaid. In fact, Blackstone’s purchase of the Hilton has been referred to as the most lucrative leveraged buyout on record. 


1. Equity Office Properties

Deal value: $36.9B

Headquarters: Chicago

Industry: Office REIT

Buyer: Blackstone Real Estate Advisors

Year: 2006

Lowdown: Price pushed up by a bidding war between Blackstone and Vornado Realty Trust.

2. Harrah’s Casino Portfolio

Deal value: $30B

Headquarters: Nevada

Industry: Entertainment, casino holdings

Buyer: Apollo Investment and TPG Capital

Year: 2008

Lowdown: Now called Caesars Entertainment. Considered inexpensive at the announcement of the LBO, it struggled to go public but did so in 2012.

3. Hilton Worldwide Holdings

Deal value: $26B

Headquarters: Virginia

Industry: Hotel

Buyer: Blackstone Group

Year: 2007

Lowdown: Bought at the height of the bubble and seemingly overpriced, saved by a great IPO in December 2013.

4. Archstone-Smith Trust

Deal value: $21B

Headquarters: Colorado

Industry: Multifamily REIT

Buyers: Tishman Speyer Properties, Lehman Brothers, Bank of America, Barclays

Year: 2007

Lowdown: Lehman’s bankruptcy estate sold Archstone for $6.5B to Equity Residential and AvalonBay in 2012.

5. Realogy Holdings

Deal value: $9.3B

Headquarters: New Jersey

Industry: Real estate services

Buyer: Apollo Global Management

Year: 2006

Lowdown: Seemed like another high-priced deal before the housing bubble burst, but Apollo made a $1.3B profit after cost cuts, an IPO and sale of shares.

6. Centro Properties Group US assets

Deal value: $9B

Headquarters: Australia

Industry: Real estate investment

Buyer: Blackstone

Year: 2011

Lowdown: Biggest property deal since burst of the housing bubble.

7. Viterra

Deal value: $8.8B

Headquarters: Germany

Industry: Multifamily

Buyer: Deutsche Annington Immobilien

Year: 2005

Lowdown: The former subsidiary of E.ON is still private.

8. Mills Corp

Deal value: $8.8B

Headquarters: Virginia

Industry: Real estate investment

Buyer: Farallon Capital Management, Simon Property

Year: 2007

Lowdown: Simon Property manages the former Mills’ shopping malls, which operate as the Landmark Mills segment within the company.

Sources: Dealogic, S&P Capital IQ and Real Capital Analytics