Blackstone snaps up heavily discounted Valad

US equity firm Blackstone has bought ailing property trust Valad for $207 million.

The sale will see unit holders receive a payout of $1.80 – a steep discount to net tangible assets.

At its peak the trust was valued at $2.40 a share. It was last trading at $1.78.

A resolution to approve the buyout was supported by 95% of unit holders.

Valad chairman Trevor Gerber blamed the GFC for the group’s downfall.

As at June 30, 2010, the group had $8.1 billion in assets under management across 22 funds and mandates in Europe and Australia. In 2009 the fund had $9.2 billion. 

Australian assets held by the fund include the Sheraton Noosa Spa and Resort, which it attempted to sell earlier this year. The sale was suspended in May pending the Blackstone takeover.

Substantial shareholders include UK-based private investment firm Centaurus Capital, which held 10% of the shares, Morgan Stanley Australia (6.36%) and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (6.37%)

The buyout is subject to approval by the NSW Supreme Court.

Valad is due to stop trading on August 12 with investors being paid out on August 26.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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