Blackstone looks to divest European resorts for $1B

Center Parcs has vacation cottages around Europe. Photo credit: Center Parcs

New York-based global investment firm Blackstone Group is reportedly in talks to sell a portfolio of Center Parcs Europe vacation resorts to German real-estate company Aroundtown SA.

According to Bloomberg, Aroundtown has agreed to pay an estimated $1.1 billion for the seven properties, which are operated by Pierre & Vacances SA. Eastdil Secured LLC is reportedly advising on the deal.

Aroundtown has a pipeline of hotels and offices worth an estimated €1.5 billion, primarily in Germany and the Netherlands, of which the company claims €1 billion is "highly likely" to be signed in Q3 and closed in the fourth quarter, the company said.

"Aroundtown's acquisition activities strongly support the quality of the portfolio and fit to the company's value-creation strategy with a focus on the office and hotel segments, mainly in Germany and the Netherlands," the firm stated in the report.

Blackstone acquired the resorts in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany for about €630 million in 2006 from Pierre & Vacances, which also owns and operates other Center Parcs sites in continental Europe. The company committed to invest about €200 million upgrading the properties earlier this year when the leases were extended. Blackstone also previously owned Center Parcs U.K., a separate company, which it sold to Brookfield Asset Management Inc., according to Bloomberg.

In May, Blackstone was reportedly looking to take back a number of hotels it had sold to Chinese insurance giant Anbang. After the Chinese government seized control of Anbang following an investigation from China’s Insurance Regulatory Commission, the American company was in talks to reacquire a number of other assets it had sold to Anbang, including the 16 Strategic Hotels & Resorts properties it sold for $6.5 billion in 2016., according to the report.

Blackstone, a known power-player in the hospitality industry, recently picked up a trio of properties in the United States, where it acquired three Florida hotels from an affiliate of RLJ Lodging Trust for $43.2 million.