Blackstone spends?$9bn on malls

Private equity firm Blackstone has struck a deal to buy nearly 600 US strip malls and other properties from Australia’s Centro Property Group for about $9.4bn (£5.77bn), people with direct knowledge of the transaction said yesterday. Blackstone beat rival bidders that include Morgan Stanley Real Estate, which had teamed up with Starwood Capital Group and New York-based NRDC.