Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Blackstone Spies Retail Recovery

Blackstone Group LP's $11 billion bet on retail property is showing signs of paying off.

As the retail property market struggled over the past year with high vacancies and competition from online shopping, the private-equity giant made a bold play: It bought up three major retail portfolios to become one of the largest owners of U.S. shopping centers.

Now there are signs that the industry is near its bottom, and perhaps starting a slight recovery.

In the span of 12 months, Blackstone snapped up Centro Property Group's 588 U.S. centers, 36 grocery-anchored centers from Equity One Inc. and—in January—a 95%..

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