Link mum on $10 billion Blackstone bid for malls

Link REIT has declined to comment on reports in Hong Kong business media that is in negotiations to sell 10 community retail centres to US private equity group Blackstone.

The story was broken in the Ming Pao newspaper, citing “sources familiar with the transaction” and expanded on by property news site Mingtiandi, which contacted both companies for comment, receiving none.

News of the deal – worth as much as HK$10 billion (US$1.28 billion) – comes just days after Link announced the appointment of HSBC and DTZ Cushman & Wakefield to conduct another review of its asset portfolio, the second in just over a year.

Following the earlier review, Blackstone is reported to have been outbid by Gaw Capital and Goldman Sachs in the sale of 17 Link assets for US$2.7 billion.

Link inherited about 180 retail and car park properties from the Housing Authority of Hong Kong in 2005.

Previously considered public amenities, and typically located within public housing districts, Link was charged with converting them into commercial operations. Many of the smaller properties have since been divested, leaving a portfolio of 138 properties. About 38 of Link’s markets have recently been substantially overhauled into modern fresh marketplaces.

Ming Pao identified the Wang Fai Centre at Wang Tau Hom Estate, Lei Tung Commercial Centre on Ap Lei Chau island, the Chun Shek Commercial Complex in Sha Tin and the Shan King Commercial Centre in Tuen Mun among the assets set to be sold to Blackstone.  

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