The Blackstone Group L.P. is understood to commit about $200 million to a South Korean fund to finance its 70 billion won ($59 million) acquisition of two warehouses near Seoul and future purchases of additional four to five logistics centers in the country.
The world’s largest private equity firm will draw on its high-risk high-return, or opportunistic real estate fund to inject capital into the fund, managed by Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. Ltd., as a sole investor, investment banking sources said on Dec. 15. The fund will be used to pay for Blackstone’s recent agreements to buy Anseong Core Logis and Yongin Able Logis in Gyeonggi Province for a total of 70 billion won, which marked its first acquisition of distribution centers in South Korea.
Blackstone will complete payment by next month for the two South Korean warehouses which will have better access to Seoul, with the recent construction of a new beltway around the capital city.
The U.S.-based private equity house followed Singapore’s GIC and Temasek Holdings in chasing storage facilities in South Korea, fueled by the steady growth of online shopping. The two sovereign wealth funds had poured hundreds of million dollars in buying logistics centers in South Korea, including GIC’s investment of about 1 trillion won in two distribution centers near Seoul this year.
Meanwhile, Blackstone’s warehouse purchases through Mirae Asset may hint at its close relationships with the leading South Korean mutual fund manager. Last month Mirae sold an office building in Seoul it had owned to Blackstone for about 450 billion won ($381 million), after buying a Hyatt hotel on Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach from Blackstone for $780 million earlier this year.
By Daehun Kim
<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>