Blackstone to buy GIC's stake in Australian logistics trust for $1.5 bln

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The ticker and trading information for Blackstone Group is displayed at the post where it is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

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Dec 10 (Reuters) - Blackstone Inc (BX.N) said on Friday it would buy Singapore wealth fund GIC's 49% stake in an Australian logistics trust for A$2.1 billion ($1.50 billion), as the U.S. private-equity giant looks to tap into the country's fast-growing e-commerce market.

The deal for the stake in Dexus Australia Logistics Trust (DALT) will be the largest investment in Asia under its Core+ Real Estate strategy, Blackstone said.

Dexus (DXS.AX) will own the rest of the joint venture.

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About 90% of DALT's portfolio is exposed to Sydney and Melbourne and is weighted to traditional logistics facilities, a key pillar of growth for the e-commerce sector, Dexus said in a separate statement.

The deal will also help Blackstone gain a foothold in Australia's online shopping market as e-commerce penetration rate remains relatively low despite high sales, the private equity firm said.

Blackstone said the DALT deal also gives it access to densely populated areas and major transportation hubs, which aligns with the company's strategy of "overweighting high conviction sectors and locations".

Earlier this year, Blackstone purchased a portfolio of self-storage assets in Melbourne and an office tower in Sydney's central business district.

($1 = 1.3978 Australian dollars)

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Reporting by Riya Sharma and Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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