Blackstone Group LP is considering an acquisition of Chamtime Plaza, a Shanghai commercial property complex, in a deal that could be worth more than 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion), people familiar with the matter said.
The private equity firm is in early stages of studying the potential purchase, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Chamtime Plaza, which includes a shopping mall and five office towers, is located around a tech hub in the Zhangjiang area of eastern Shanghai’s Pudong district.
Foreign buyers are increasing their presence in the Chinese commercial property market, taking advantage of a deleveraging drive squeezing domestic companies. Investment in Chinese commercial real estate rose 9.5 percent in 2018 to hit a record 296 billion yuan, with about one-third of transactions coming from overseas investors, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
In November, Singapore’s CapitaLand Ltd. and sovereign fund GIC Pte agreed to acquire Shanghai’s tallest twin towers, located along the Huangpu River in the North Bund, for 12.8 billion yuan. Last year, Blackstone bought the VivoCity Shanghai mall and adjacent office towers from Singapore’s Mapletree Investments Pte for $1.2 billion including debt, Bloomberg News reported at the time.
Chamtime Plaza has a total construction area of 320,000 square meters (3.4 million square feet), according to the website of its owner, Chinese developer Changjia Group. No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction, the people said.
A spokeswoman for Blackstone declined to comment, while calls to Shanghai-based Changjia Group’s general line went unanswered.