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Blackstone To Pay $5.8B For Preferred Apartment Communities

One of the biggest names in real estate investment is leading the pack as investors follow job growth and population migration to the Sun Belt.

Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust has struck a deal to acquire Preferred Apartment Communities for $5.8B in cash. The acquisition has been approved by the PAC board of directors and is expected to close in Q2, subject to approval by shareholders.

Overton Rise, a Preferred Apartment Communities property in Atlanta

The price values Atlanta-based PAC at $25 per share. Shares in the REIT closed at $23.27 on Tuesday, itself a higher value than at any time in the last 10 years. A year ago, PAC traded for $8.21 a share.

PAC owns both apartments and retail properties. Its apartment portfolio includes 44 communities totaling about 12,000 units concentrated in the Atlanta; Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Nashville, Tennessee, metros.

The company's retail portfolio includes 54 grocery-anchored assets totaling about 6M SF. Most of those properties are in the Atlanta, Orlando, Nashville and Raleigh, North Carolina, metro markets.

"The company’s grocery-anchored retail portfolio performance has also been strong and resilient, and we believe these types of necessity-oriented assets located in areas with growing populations are well-positioned for continued growth,” Blackstone Real Estate Senior Managing Director Jacob Werner said in a statement.

The deal comes on the heels of BREIT's $3.7B all-cash acquisition of Resource REIT in January, which will also close in the second quarter of this year. Resource is a nontraded REIT that owns 42 U.S. apartment communities totaling over 12,600 units. Resource's portfolio, like that of PAC, tends to focus on warmer states, with garden-style assets in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia and Texas. 

These two deals are only the latest sizable buys for BREIT. Last July, the company bought affordable housing assets from American International Group for about $5.1B, and in June, BREIT acquired Chicago-based Home Partners of America for $6B. Home Partners owns more than 17,000 single-family rentals in the United States.