Blackstone Group LP offered to pay 43 million euros ($58 million) for a portfolio of homes in Spain being sold by the country’s bad bank as the U.S. private-equity firm builds its rental business in the country, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
Blackstone, the world’s biggest manager of alternatives to stocks and bonds, is bidding for the Dorian portfolio of 620 homes along with 1,200 garages and storage units built from 2007 through 2011 in Madrid and Barcelona, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the deal hasn’t closed. Blackstone, based in New York, is the lead bidder for the assets, according to one of the people.
A spokesman for Sareb declined to comment. Andrew Dowler, a spokesman for Blackstone in London, also declined to comment.
Spain’s rental market is growing as government-spending cuts, a 26 percent jobless rate and subdued mortgage lending make home buying more difficult. Within three years the proportion of rented homes will rise to 25 percent from about 18 percent now, according to Fernando Encinar, co-founder of Idealista.com, Spain’s largest property website. Spain has one of Europe’s highest homeownership rates.
Increasing demand for rental properties is prompting foreign funds to invest in Spain’s unsold homes, which may total 1.3 million units, according to Idealista.