Blackstone Group and DDR Corp. buy 46 shopping centers from EPN Group

Beachwood, Ohio -- Buyout firm The Blackstone Group and real estate investment trust DDR Corp. will buy 46 shopping centers owned by EPN Group for $1.43 billion, which includes the assumption of at least $945 million in debt.

Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII, an affiliate of Blackstone, will own 95% of the joint venture. DDR will own 5% and invest $150 million in preferred stock with a fixed dividend rate of 10%.

According to DDR, the shopping centers are 90% leased and are spread across 20 states. The centers had been owned by EDT Retail Trust. EPN acquired a majority interest in the trust in 2010 and became joint manager along with DDR, which has leased and managed the shopping centers, some for more than 15 years.