Ganzi company sells off $7.5bn property units

Ganzi company sells off $7.5bn property units as it gets ready for $14.3bn Zayo acquisition  

02 October 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Marc Ganzi’s Colony Capital has raised $7.5 billion by offloading two of its real-estate operations in advance of its Zayo acquisition.

Digital Bridge, led by Ganzi (pictured), is merging with Colony and is the company that is due to buy Zayo for $14.3 billion in the first half of next year in a joint move with Swedish investor EQT.

One of the two money-raising deals, announced this week, sees it selling its industrial warehouses to Blackstone group for $5.9 billion. This deal includes 465 light industrial buildings in 26 US markets, mainly aimed at last-mile logistics companies.

In the other deal, announced in July but just completed, Colony has sold NorthStar Realty Europe to AXA Investment Managers. That business invests in offices in France, Germany and the UK.

Thomas Barrack, chairman and CEO of Colony, said the move will “simplify our story and balance sheet”, and said the proceeds will allow the group to “invest in digital growth businesses as we transform into the leading operator, investment manager, and capital provider in the digital infrastructure industry”.

Barrack will become executive chairman of the merged Digital Bridge/Colony Capital, with Ganzi being CEO.