The Blackstone Group signed a definitive agreement with UBS Wealth Management—North American Property Fund to purchase UBS’ equity interest in two retail joint ventures managed by Kimco Realty Corp. in a transaction valued at approximately $1.1 billion. The joint ventures encompass 40 shopping centers totaling approximately 5.6 million sq. ft. of space.

In addition, Kimco reached a preliminary agreement with Blackstone to increase its ownership stake in the ventures from 18 percent to 33 percent. Kimco currently serves as the operating partner in the ventures, in addition to providing management and leasing services for the properties.

“We have a good working relationship with [Blackstone] and we’re very pleased to be able to come to terms with Blackstone to increase our stake in this wonderful portfolio,” said Kimco Vice Chairman, President and CEO David B. Henry during a fourth quarter conference call on Feb. 6. “It’s very high quality assets. And so, we’re very happy to be going from 18 percent to 33 percent. And we’re very happy to continue our role as the operating partner and continue to be paid for that. So we value them and we hope to do other things in the future with them.”