Blackstone Group LP is in a $1.8 billion deal to buy the US real estate assets of Alecta, the Swedish pension manager that is seeking to exit investments that don’t fit with its strategy, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction. The purchase mainly consists of retail and office properties, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deal is private. They include Lakeshore Plaza, a shopping center in San Francisco’s Sunset District; the Shops at La Jolla Village, a retail area in the affluent San Diego suburb; and 815 Connecticut Ave. NW in Washington, an office building near the White House.
Christine Anderson, a Blackstone spokeswoman, and Johan Anderson, a spokesman for Stockholm-based Alecta, declined to comment.
Alecta manages about 721 billion Swedish kronor ($85 billion) in pension assets. The company hired Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. earlier this year to sell a portfolio of 48 office, retail, apartment and industrial properties in the U.S. and U.K., according to an April 6 press release from the brokerage.
“Our foreign operations have been extremely successful in consistently generating above-average returns, but they have always been a bit of an organizational anomaly in our streamlined business, which prioritizes economies of scale within our investment strategy,” Per Frennberg, chief investment officer of Alecta, said in the April statement. “The current strong demand for global real estate offers a good opportunity for us to take another step in our development towards our vision, to be the most efficient occupational pension fund in the world.”
Blackstone is the world’s largest private equity real estate investor, with more than $100 billion of investor capital under management.