Blackstone Group has agreed to sell a portfolio of warehouse and logistics assets across Australia’s largest cities to property investor ESR Cayman for about US$3 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal, which involves about 45 assets held by Blackstone’s Milestone Logistics, could be announced as soon as Monday, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. ESR beat out rival bidders including other property investors in the process, the person said.

At US$3 billion, a sale would mark the largest real estate transaction in Australia in at least five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It also underscores the growth in warehousing, which has become one of the most sought-after property classes, in part of because of the surge in online shopping during the pandemic.

The logistics portfolio was assembled by Blackstone over dozens of individual transactions that began with a deal with Australian developer Goodman Group in 2016. The portfolio currently has 98% occupancy and a lease term for its clients averaging just over seven years, one of the people said.

The Australian Financial Review reported the deal earlier on Sunday. Representatives for Blackstone and ESR declined to comment.

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