May 19, 2020

Blackstone secures Dream Global for $6.2bn

Canada
Blackstone
Dream Global
pauline cameron
3 min
Blackstone secures Dream Global for $6.2bn

The deal, set to close in December, has seen Blackstone invest a record amount through its property management arm. 

Blackstone, a multinational assest management and financial services, firm has closed a deal to take over Dream Global, a Canadian real estate trust specialising in office property. Blackstone paid CA$6.2bn, in an all-cash agreement to secure the deal.

This new acquisition is another addition to a long list of multi-billion dollar deals made through Blackstone’s real estate branch; the total reached $20.5bn during the week of 16 September 19 alone. The bout of fundraising is breaking real estate fund records and has increased Blackstone’s portfolio to encompass more than £36bn.

Dream Global holds over 200 office space and warehouse properties in more than 100 cities across Western Europe, particularly around financial hubs such as Germany and the Netherlands. As Blackstone continues to amass a portfolio of logistics properties spanning across the globe, real estate Co-Chief Executive Ken Caplan described it as the group’s “highest conviction” trade to date.

Dream Global’s stockholders will receive a payment of $16.79 for each share they hold, which is an 18.5% increase on Friday’s closing stock price. The deal is expected to be finalised by December following a shareholder vote by the Investment trust.

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Back in June Blackstone paid $18.7bn for GLP’s portfolio of US warehouses, which was one of the company’s biggest-ever deals and the majority of its recent $20.5bn investment surge. The Singapore-based company’s portfolio will allow Blackstone to seize on the current culture shift towards digital markets, where platforms like Shopify and Amazon vastly outperform their high street counterparts.

“At a time when the western European real estate market is becoming increasingly competitive, this transaction provides premium value to unit holders,” said Detlef Bierbaum, the Chairman of Dream Global's board of trustee, speaking of the acquisition.

The change towards online retailing has seen the value of warehouses soar in line with increasing demand from e-commerce giants to improve infrastructure across international supply chains. The trend of property trusts investing in logistics real estate continues with Prologis investing £4bn, while Colony Capital announced its portfolio expansion recently through a £1.2bn investment.

The discussion on property management has many investors predicting a potential for turmoil as investors flood the market and interest rates encroach on all-time lows, a belief that Caplan has acknowledged but stated he does not see another drop in the near future. Speaking of the industry’s future prospects, Caplan said: “The underlying fundamentals still feel good, it’s just that we’re in a more challenging investment environment in terms of prices having gone up for several years now and yields compressing,”

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

CMO
Kyndryl
IBM
Leadership
Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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