Merrill Lynch Asia Real Estate Team To Join Blackstone

The Blackstone Group said Tuesday that its agreed to manage Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Asia real estate assets. Blackstone will also act as the GP for the Merrill Lynch Asia Real Estate Opportunity Fund. Financial terms weren’t announced. BofA said that it has decided that the Merrill Lynch real estate assets in Asia aren’t core to its strategy for the region. Most of the Merrill Lynch Asia real estate team has agreed to join Blackstone. Blackstone is a New York PE firm.


The Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX) today announced that it had closed on an agreement to manage Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Asian real estate assets and to act as the new general partner for the Merrill Lynch Asian Real Estate Opportunity Fund. Since acquiring Merrill Lynch, Bank of America has made the decision that the Merrill Lynch real estate assets in Asia are not core to its strategy for the region. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Commenting on the transaction, Jonathan Gray and Chad Pike, co-heads of Blackstone’s real estate group, said: “This transaction represents a very significant opportunity for Blackstone. We are already the largest opportunistic real estate investor in the U.S. and Europe. This gives us a substantially larger platform to continue to bring success to our limited partners in a region where we see major growth going forward.”

Doug Sesler, Head of BAML Real Estate Principal Investments, said, “We are excited about the real estate and management expertise that Blackstone brings to our Asian real estate fund in their new role as General Partner. We’re pleased to reach an agreement with broad support from the fund’s limited partners and expect this transaction will provide stability and leadership to help maximize investor returns.”

The combined Merrill Lynch portfolio consists of assets geographically spread across Asia, with the substantial majority located in four markets: Japan, China, India and South Korea. Most of the current Merrill Lynch Asia real estate team has agreed to join the Blackstone real estate group.

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