An internal spy on the investment ideas guiding Blackstone’s valid estate portfolio — and why it’s silent making a guess tall on logistics whereas the competition crowds the asset class


Ken Caplan Blackstone Real EstateKen Caplan Blackstone Real Estate

Ken Caplan, co-head of Blackstone Valid Estate


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  • Blackstone, the realm’s greatest corporate landlord, has $46 billion of dry powder dispensed for valid estate, because the pandemic industrial valid estate shakeout begins.
  • Global co-head of valid estate Ken Caplan spoke with Commerce Insider about how the firm is thinking of investing its money within the put up-lockdown landscape. 
  • Logistics, already the finest share of Blackstone’s portfolio, stays a principal opportunity, even as others spy to the already crowded asset class.
  • While quandary of job, retail, and resorts absorb all had some in unhappy health-dangle from the pandemic, Blackstone continues to spy lengthy-time duration tailwinds about the lodge and possible sectors of the quandary of job market, whereas retail is extra worrying.
  • Visit Commerce Insider’s homepage for extra tales.

When the realm’s greatest corporate landlord Blackstone bought GLP’s logistics assets closing year within the finest deepest valid estate deal ever, it used to be ultimate the tip of a noteworthy bigger iceberg. The firm has been laser-centered on the valid-world infrastructure that helps e-commerce for a decade, including over one billion square feet of logistics location in bigger than 200 separate transactions in that point. Logistics assets are now the finest asset class in Blackstone’s portfolio. 

This system used to be a hit sooner than the coronavirus, nevertheless now it’s taking a spy even greater as online browsing soars amid the pandemic. 

“Logistics is a extremely in kind sector honest now, nevertheless no longer one we ultimate determined closing week used to be attention-grabbing,” Ken Caplan, world co-head of valid estate, in actual fact helpful Commerce Insider. 

Caplan has been keen on the broader industrial world since he first started on the firm in 1997, and in actual fact worked on the firm’s first warehouse soak up Europe support within the gradual 90s. The firm’s most trendy technique on logistics took preserve around 2010. On the time, logistics used to be completely 2% of their valid estate portfolio, and now makes up a Third of its $324 billion valid estate portfolio. 

Blackstone, which is at expose sitting on a legend amount of dry powder, $156 billion, is initiating to instruments as much as make investments in assets within the put up-COVID world. It has $46 billion dispensed for valid estate investments. 

Caplan sat down with Commerce Insider to chat about how the firm is keen on investing within the time of COVID. Blackstone, infamous for its thematic investing kind, is using files from its properties to come up with subject issues about the changing world, and then investing essentially essentially essentially based on those subject issues. The pandemic has shuffled about a of the deck, nevertheless the firm believes that quite a lot of the subject issues it used to be following continue to stay ultimate investments now.

“Our industrial is driven by investing thematically in sectors with highly efficient secular tailwinds, love bellow material creation, logistics, and lifestyles science,” Caplan acknowledged.

Despite being in kind, logistics valid estate is undervalued 

The pandemic’s dangle on logistics valid estate can no longer be overstated. It became a sizzling sector into the most updated sector, as extra of us weak e-commerce for extra purchases than ever sooner than. Prologis, the finest REIT within the logistics location, is de facto shopping and selling at a greater impress per allotment now than it did sooner than the public markets collapsed in gradual February. REITs in diverse categories love retail or resorts can’t relate the identical.

This has brought extra gamers into the location than ever sooner than. While there don’t seem to be many companies that might compete with Blackstone on big transactions love the GLP deal, extra and extra gamers of all sizes are looking to strike gold within the class. 

Be taught extra: Frigid storage is 2020’s pink-sizzling valid estate play. Right here’s how the deepest-fairness backed industry leader is spending $500 million to tighten its grip on the market.

Light, Caplan and Blackstone continue to spy many opportunities for impress spanking new deals, and new opportunities to make money. The reasoning is deeply tied to the theme that undergirds their investments, e-commerce. 

Caplan acknowledged that the market is silent undervaluing ultimate how a must-absorb and precious logistical valid estate is, and the market hasn’t but caught as much as the realities of what e-commerce potential.  

“There used to be this kind of elementary shift in utility for this asset and count on for this asset that the price has shifted very meaningfully as effectively, and we deem that it’s silent below-appreciated,” Caplan in actual fact helpful Commerce Insider. 

There are silent gigantic opportunities for the firm, he added, specifically in markets that don’t absorb as high ranges of e-commerce adoption because the US, such as Europe and components of Asia.

Why offices are silent ultimate opportunities

On Blackstone’s 2nd-quarter incomes’s name, COO Jon Gray acknowledged that the firm would spy to make investments in offices and resorts, the attach challenges seem like extra “cyclical,” whereas avoiding the retail sector which has extra elementary “secular” disorders. 

Some deem that some distance-off work has the functionality to be a lengthy-time duration possibility to offices. On the different hand, Blackstone’s peek here is slightly sure: whereas fully some distance-off work is able to withhold businesses working in a disaster, it poses principal challenges for coaching new workers, collaboration, and firm culture.

While some quandary of job locations, love Novel York City, will observe principal challenges within the near-time duration, Blackstone is assured that quandary of job count on will return. It would now not absorb the identical feeling about struggling retail. 

“One among the challenges in retail is that it oftentimes is now not any longer a greater journey than the different, whereas, with quandary of job, it’s the least bit times a greater journey than the different,” Caplan acknowledged, comparing the convenience of e-commerce to the fight of working a building remotely. 

Be taught extra: Markets for retail and quandary of job location are below immense stress. A foreclosure within the works for a building on NYC’s glitzy Fifth Avenue browsing hall displays ultimate how indecent it’s getting.

Within the quandary of job location, Caplan acknowledged there are “highly efficient secular tailwinds” for the lifestyles sciences and bellow material-creation/media sectors specifically. Both sectors require in-particular person exercise, whether or no longer a lab or a movie studio, which insulates them from the functionality downside of a further and extra some distance-off world. 

These traits, which Blackstone used to be already invested in, were bolstered by the outcomes of the pandemic. Blackstone’s lifestyles sciences quandary of job firm, BioMed, is one among the firm’s four greatest investments, and the firm owns over half of the Class A quandary of job location in film studio-effectively off Burbank, California.

Blackstone has already executed one other fundamental transaction since the pandemic started: signing a deal in gradual June for a 49% stake in three Hollywood studios and five offices owned by Hudson Pacific Properties and valued at $1.65 billion. These acquisitions count Netflix, CBS, and Walt Disney as tenants. Disney is additionally a tenant of about a of Blackstone’s Burbank quandary of job location. 

Outlook on resorts and retail

The lodge industry has understandably been hit extremely onerous by the coronavirus, with some resorts having in actual fact no earnings at taking into consideration the first two months of the pandemic. On the different hand, Blackstone silent believes that the lengthy-standing pattern of increased trudge will continue once patrons feel cosy to trudge all over again. 

“In diverse areas the attach we absorb had high conviction in an extended-time duration pattern and absorb viewed that pattern interrupted, love world trudge, we deem this might return over time,” Caplan acknowledged.

Blackstone supplied Hilton after 11 years in 2018, nevertheless the firm silent owns resorts. Blackstone resorts that absorb reopened are initiating to spy count on from regional leisure travelers, though industrial trudge will possible preserve longer to leap support.

Be taught extra: Investments in abominable lodge debt might salvage worn out as trudge gets slammed — and one team of lenders might observe an outsized hit

While the bigger pattern of online browsing dims most enthusiasm for the location, some retail, specifically a browsing middle anchored by a meals market or a high performing Asian mall, stays a marvelous deal.

“In retail, we observe a extra secular exchange occurring, the attach you are going to absorb this shift to online or e-commerce that is reducing count on within the location and causing challenges that we don’t deem will reverse,” Caplan acknowledged.

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