Japan’s Kintetsu to sell hotels to Blackstone as private equity activity grows

Japan’s Kintetsu Group Holdings will sell eight hotels to U.S. buyout firm Blackstone Group for an undisclosed amount, the railway operator said on Thursday, in the latest private equity deal.

Japan “has seen its investment landscape transform over the years as corporations increasingly look to divest their non-core businesses with a trusted partner,” Chris Heady, Blackstone’s regional head of real estate, said in a statement.

In a filing, Kintetsu said it would continue to operate the hotels, which have a book value of 42 billion yen ($385 million) and are part of a portfolio of 24 hotels. The deal was worth 60 billion yen, the Nikkei business daily said.

The sale was spurred by cost cutting during the pandemic, Kintetsu added, with Blackstone selected for its global real estate investing experience.

The Kintetsu deal is the third corporate carve-out for Blackstone, which last year invested a record $7.3 billion in Japan, including the purchase of Takeda’s over-the-counter drugs business.

As private equity activity grows in Japan, shareholders are increasingly challenging company managers in a shakeup of the traditional corporate order.