On December 10, 2019, affiliates of real estate funds managed by The Blackstone Group Inc. (collectively, Blackstone) acquired all of the subsidiaries and assets of Dream Global Real Estate Investment Trust (Dream Global) in an all-cash transaction valued at $6.2 billion, including debt (the Transaction). This is the largest-ever REIT M&A deal in Canada. On closing of the Transaction, unitholders of Dream Global received cash consideration of $16.79 per unit; certain of the Blackstone purchasers acquired newly-created Class B units; and the units (other than the Class B units) were redeemed. The Transaction also included the separation of Dream Asset Management Corporation (DAM), a subsidiary of Dream Unlimited Corp., from its role as external asset manager to Dream Global, and the acquisition by certain of the Blackstone purchasers of the minority interests of DAM in certain of Dream Global’s properties.
Dream Global owns and operates a diversified high-quality portfolio of over 200 office and industrial properties located in key markets in Western Europe, with a focus on Germany and the Netherlands. Dream Global’s focus on Western Europe was unique among publicly-traded REITs in Canada.
Blackstone is a global leader in real estate investing. Blackstone’s real estate business was founded in 1991 and has $157 billion of investor capital under management. Blackstone is one of the largest property owners in the world, owning and operating assets across every major geography and sector, including logistics, multifamily housing, office, hospitality and retail.
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP represented Blackstone in Canada with a team led by Vincent Mercier and Kevin Greenspoon and including Emily Uza and Matthew Sherman (M&A); David Reiner (real estate); John Ulmer and Neal Armstrong (tax); and Anita Banicevic and Alysha Manji-Knight (regulatory).
Blackstone was represented in the United States and United Kingdom by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP with a team led by Brian Stadler and Wheatly MacNamara and including Mark Viera, Lanna Lan and Benjamin Cermak (M&A); Spencer Patton, Robert Wentworth, Sneha Padden and George Ewart-Perks (real estate); and Nancy Mehlman and Kelli Rivers (tax).
Dream Global and DAM were represented by Robert Hughes (SVP, Legal Counsel) and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP with a team led by Doug Marshall and Alex Gorka and including Amelia Miao and Jessica Thomson (M&A); Firoz Ahmed, Jack Silverson, David Davachi and Masoud Tasharofi (tax); and Shuli Rodal (regulatory).
Goodmans LLP acted as counsel to the special committee of the board of trustees of Dream Global, with a team led by Jon Feldman and Brenda Gosselin and including Hari Marcovici and Laura Fraser (M&A); and Jon Northup and Jarrett Freeman (tax).
Chris Hewat, Richard Turner and Christopher Barker (M&A) of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP represented National Bank Financial Inc., financial advisor to the special committee of the board of trustees of Dream Global, and TD Securities Inc., financial advisor to Dream Global.