Blackstone made another huge real estate deal on Friday

Blackstone schwarzmanREUTERS/Denis BalibouseBlackstone chairman Stephen Schwarzman.

It’s not all about GE: Blackstone also made another huge real estate deal on Friday.

In a release, Excel Trust announced that it has agreed to be acquired by Blackstone Property Partners for around $US2 billion in cash. Excel Trust is a real estate investment trust that focuses on retail properties.

On Friday, General Electric announced it would sell the bulk of its $US26.5 billion real estate portfolio to Blackstone funds, with Wells Fargo also taking on a portion of that portfolio’s performing loans.

In a release, Blackstone said it would buy all of Excel Trust’s outstanding shares for $US15.85 per share, representing a 15% premium over Thursday’s closing price. Excel Trust shares rose by nearly 15% in pre-market trading, and have rallied 29% in the past 12 months.

“Appetite for high-quality retail real estate is strong with cap rates and REIT stock multiples approaching historic levels and we did not believe the market accurately reflected the value of the assets,” Excel Trust CEO Gary Sabin said in the release. “This led the Board to conclude it was time to more fully assess the value of our portfolio.”

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