COLUMBIA, S.C., Dec. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Edens Investment Trust ("EDENS") announced today that it has closed a $1.47 billion equity transaction comprising the $718 million sale of the State of Michigan Retirement System's ("SMRS") minority ownership interest and a $750 million growth-equity commitment (the "Equity Commitment").
After a highly successful 16-year investment, SMRS sold its ownership interest in EDENS to a Blackstone-sponsored core real estate investment vehicle ("Blackstone").
Institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management ("JPMAM"), New York State Teachers' Retirement System ("NYSTRS") and Blackstone provided the Equity Commitment. Each of JPMAM, NYSTRS and Blackstone will have approximately equivalent ownership interests in EDENS.
EDENS, a leading national retail real estate investment company with a 47-year track record of enriching communities in which they do business, owns a $4 billion portfolio of market-dominant, demographically-driven urban retail centers. With the announced transaction, EDENS is positioned to continue to set itself apart from its competitors, benefiting from its differentiated capabilities, an investment-grade quality balance sheet and institutional investors who are among the highest quality and most active real estate investors in the world.
"Capitalizing on one of the largest equity investments ever into a private U.S. based real estate company, EDENS plans to continue to enhance and expand our existing portfolio, creating significant value for our shareholders," said Terry Brown, EDENS CEO.
As a private company with access to capital that rivals the most blue-chip public REITs, EDENS will continue to leverage its scalable platform and strengthen its position as one of the pre-eminent retail real estate investment companies in the U.S.
"With its innovative approach to the industry and its strong and creative executive team, EDENS has redefined the retail landscape, creating a sophisticated platform, perfectly positioned for long-term value creation in an investment environment where such capabilities are critical," said Nadeem Meghi, Managing Director at Blackstone.
"JPMAM, on behalf of its Strategic Property Fund and NYSTRS, looks forward to continuing its partnership with EDENS and expanding its investment, which has been a key and highly successful component of both investors' retail strategies since 2000," said Sheryl Crosland, Managing Director at JPMAM.
The Equity Commitment will fund corporate growth through select urban acquisitions, redevelopments and developments in the major East Coast metropolitan areas of Boston, New York City, Washington D.C., Atlanta and Miami. After initially focusing on investments in its existing East Coast target markets, EDENS expects to seek out appropriate investment opportunities in other urban markets where its innovative approach to community-building retail will create significant shareholder value.
Eastdil Secured served as EDENS' exclusive financial advisor for the transaction.
EDENS develops, owns and operates community-building centers in primary markets throughout the East Coast. Focusing on innovative development and redevelopment together with key acquisitions in urban areas, the Company has built an institutional-quality portfolio of 111 retail centers. EDENS has Regional Headquarters in Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Miami and Columbia, SC. For additional information about the Company and its retail real estate portfolio, please visit www.edens.com.