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Friday, Dec 9, 2022
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OCBJ INSIDER

 The IPO dreams for Irvine’s Interior Logic Group, the country’s largest provider of outsourced interior finish and design services for homebuilders, were short-lived.
Less than a month after making formal plans to go public, the PE-backed firm made an about-face last week, and announced it would to be sold to investment giant Blackstone in a $1.6B-valued deal.
Interior Logic’s not the only local real estate firm that’s drawn that amount of interest of late from Blackstone, which has some $619B in assets under management.
A REIT run by Blackstone late last month announced the recapitalization of two industrial portfolios owned by Irvine real estate investor LBA. Blackstone said it acquired a 60% combined interest across the portfolios, which are in Southern California and other markets in the western U.S.
The portfolios in total count 71 buildings running 9.5 million square feet and are 95% occupied. The deal includes one larger Irvine Spectrum property previously used by Toshiba for its local hub, property records indicate.
The value of the LBA portfolio, like Interior Logic, was $1.6B, Blackstone said.

Two other PE firms, Stone Point Capital and Insight Partners, said last week they’re paying $6B for Irvine’s CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX), ending a several-month period of uncertainty for the real estate data and analytics firm.
Both buyers count their ties to the area. Greenwich, Conn.-based Stone Point has invested in OC’s Alliant Insurance Services, employment screener HireRight, lender Sabal Capital Partners and corporate restructuring service provider Stretto, among others. N.Y.-based Insight, meanwhile, was a 2014 investor in Alteryx.
For more on CoreLogic’s plans under the new ownership group, see next week’s print edition.

The changing base of power in OC’s aerospace and defense sectors can be seen in Anduril Industries’ plan for a massive new Costa Mesa HQ that runs “one-sixth” the size of the 3.7M-SF Pentagon, Palmer Luckey gleefully noted last week. See our front-page story for more.
At about 30 acres, the Costa Mesa property is almost the same size as Boeing’s former office site along Bolsa Avenue now home to an industrial development. The new tenant isn’t Boeing, which is locally retrenching. Rather, it’s Amazon, reports our Katie Murar. See next week’s print edition for more on the Surf City transaction.

The lack of bodies in high-profile area office properties owned by Irvine Co. during the pandemic isn’t reflected in a rising level of vacancies for the landlord, according to Chicago’s Fitch Ratings.
The ratings agency last week said it affirmed the AAA ratings—its highest rating—for a series of CMBS-loans backed by Irvine Co. office properties in Irvine, Newport Beach and L.A.
Those loans have some $727M of debt tied to them, down from $875M at the time of the issuance of the loans in 2013, according to Fitch.
Notably, while the report didn’t specify whether rents were being paid in a timely manner during the pandemic, it did say that at last count, the portfolio was 91.1% occupied, compared with 91.2% a year ago.
Fitch also asserted that “there have been no coronavirus relief requests” from the Irvine Co. as of January 2021.

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Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.
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