Press Release

Press Release

QTS Realty Trust to Be Acquired by Blackstone Funds in $10 Billion Transaction

QTS Common Stockholders to Receive $78 Per Share in Cash

Represents a Premium of 21% to QTS’ Closing Stock Price of $64.49 on June 4, 2021

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. and NEW YORK – June 7, 2021 – QTS Realty Trust (NYSE: QTS) (“QTS” or “the Company”) and Blackstone (NYSE: BX), today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. and other long-term perpetual capital vehicles managed by Blackstone will acquire all outstanding shares of common stock of QTS Realty Trust for $78.00 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $10 billion, including the assumption of debt. The purchase price represents a premium of 21% to QTS’ closing share price as of June 4, 2021 and a 24% premium to the volume weighted average share price over the last 90 days. The transaction was unanimously approved by the QTS Board of Directors and is expected to close in the second half of 2021.

Blackstone’s interest in acquiring QTS and its commitment to investing in its platform is a testament to the QTS team’s success in building a leading data center company. Blackstone’s expertise, resources and consistent access to capital will support QTS’ growth and help expand the reach of its data center solutions supporting new and existing customers. Upon completion of the transaction, the parties expect that QTS will continue to be led by its senior management team and maintain its corporate headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas.

“We are pleased to enter into this transaction with Blackstone, as it will deliver compelling, immediate and certain value to stockholders while positioning QTS to continue supporting customers’ expanding data center infrastructure needs,” said Philip Trahanas, Lead Director of the QTS Board of Directors. “The QTS Board regularly reviews the Company’s strategy and market opportunities to maximize stockholder value, and we are confident this transaction achieves that objective.”

“QTS is powered by its people and continues to set a new standard for service delivery in the data center industry,” said Chad Williams, Chairman and CEO of QTS. “We see a significant market opportunity for growth as hyperscale customers and enterprises continue to leverage our world-class infrastructure to support their digital transformation initiatives. We are confident this transaction is the right step to achieve our strategic objectives in our next phase of growth. I want to thank each of our QTS employees for their continued dedication to a culture of service to others, which has positioned QTS to enter into this transformative transaction.”

“We are delighted to back QTS and its world-class management team as they continue to scale the company to meet the rising demand for data centers. QTS aligns with one of Blackstone’s highest conviction themes – data proliferation – and the required investment makes it well suited as a long-term holding for our perpetual capital vehicles. We are committed to a strong, lasting partnership, leveraging Blackstone’s scale, reach, resources and access to capital to drive long-term growth at QTS,” said Greg Blank, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone Infrastructure Partners.

“We are focused on investing in assets that are benefitting from strong, secular tailwinds, such as the rapid digitalization of data. QTS is a leading provider of data center solutions with a portfolio of high-quality assets in desirable markets, positioning it well to capitalize on these powerful trends in the data center space. We believe the vast expertise across our business will enable the QTS platform to succeed over the long-term,” said Tyler Henritze, Head of Acquisitions Americas for Blackstone Real Estate.

Transaction Terms, Timing and Approvals

The definitive merger agreement includes a 40-day “go-shop” period that will expire on July 17, 2021, subject to extension under certain circumstances, which permits QTS and its representatives to actively solicit and consider alternative acquisition proposals. QTS has the right to terminate the definitive merger agreement with Blackstone to enter into a superior proposal subject to certain terms and conditions of the definitive merger agreement. There can be no assurance that this process will result in a superior proposal, and QTS does not intend to disclose developments with respect to the go-shop process unless and until it determines such disclosure is appropriate or is otherwise required.

The transaction with Blackstone is expected to close in the second half of 2021, subject to approval by QTS’ stockholders and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Subject to and upon completion of the transaction, QTS’ common stock will no longer be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. QTS will be jointly owned by Blackstone Infrastructure Partners and Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust (“BREIT”).

Advisors

Jefferies LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC are acting as financial advisors to QTS, and Hogan Lovells US LLP and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP are acting as legal counsel to QTS. Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Barclays, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC are acting as financial advisors to Blackstone, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is acting as its legal counsel.

About QTS
QTS Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: QTS) is a leading provider of data center solutions across a diverse footprint spanning more than 7 million square feet of owned mega scale data center space within North America and Europe. Through its software-defined technology platform, QTS is able to deliver secure, compliant infrastructure solutions, robust connectivity and premium customer service to leading hyperscale technology companies, enterprises, and government entities. Visit QTS at www.qtsdatacenters.com, call toll-free 877.QTS.DATA or follow on Twitter @DataCenters_QTS.

About Blackstone
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our $649 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

In connection with the proposed transaction, QTS intends to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) a proxy statement on Schedule 14A. Promptly after filing its definitive proxy statement with the SEC, QTS intends to mail the definitive proxy statement and a proxy card to each stockholder entitled to vote at the special meeting relating to the proposed transaction. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS OF QTS ARE URGED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT (INCLUDING ANY AMENDMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS THERETO) AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSACTION THAT QTS FILES WITH THE SEC WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION. The definitive proxy statement, the preliminary proxy statement and any other documents filed by QTS with the SEC may be obtained free of charge at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov or at QTS’ website at www.qtsdatacenters.com or by writing to QTS Realty Trust, Inc., Attn: Investor Relations, 12851 Foster Street, Overland Park, KS 66213.

QTS and its directors and certain of its executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from QTS’ stockholders with respect to the proposed transaction. Information about QTS’ directors and executive officers and their ownership of QTS securities is set forth in QTS’ proxy statement for its 2021 annual meeting of stockholders on Schedule 14A filed with the SEC on March 18, 2021. To the extent holdings of QTS’ securities by directors and executive officers have changed since the amounts disclosed in QTS’ proxy statement, such changes have been or will be reflected on Statements of Changes in Beneficial Ownership on Form 4 filed with the SEC. You can obtain free copies of these documents at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov or by accessing QTS’ website at www.qtsdatacenters.com. Additional information regarding the identity of participants in the solicitation of proxies, and their direct or indirect interests in the proposed transaction, by security holdings or otherwise, will be set forth in the proxy statement and other materials to be filed with the SEC in connection with the proposed transaction.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward Looking Statements

Some of the statements contained in this press release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements relate to expectations, beliefs, projections, future plans and strategies, anticipated events or trends and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” or “potential” or the negative of these words and phrases or similar words or phrases which are predictions of or indicate future events, or trends, expected benefits of the transaction or statements about future performance and which do not relate solely to historical matters. You can also identify forward-looking statements by discussions of strategy, plans or intentions.

The forward-looking statements contained in this press release reflect QTS’ and Blackstone’s (including BREIT) current views about future events and are subject to numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and changes in circumstances that may cause actual results and future events to differ significantly from those expressed in any forward-looking statement. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results and future events to differ materially from those set forth or contemplated in the forward-looking statements: the ability of QTS to obtain stockholder or regulatory approvals required to consummate the proposed transaction; the satisfaction or waiver of other conditions to closing in the definitive agreement for the proposed transaction; unanticipated difficulties or expenditures relating to the proposed transaction; the response of customers and business partners to the announcement of the proposed transaction; potential difficulties in employee retention as a result of the proposed transaction; the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the proposed transaction; the outcome of legal proceedings that may be instituted against QTS, its directors and others related to the proposed transaction; adverse economic or real estate developments in QTS’ markets or the technology industry; global, national and local economic conditions; risks related to QTS’ international operations; risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including adverse impacts on the economy and our and our customers’ business; significant increases in construction and development costs; the increasingly competitive environment in which QTS operates; defaults on, or termination or non-renewal of, leases by customers; decreased rental rates or increased vacancy rates; increased interest rates and operating costs, including increased energy costs; dependence on third parties to provide Internet, telecommunications and network connectivity to QTS’ data centers; QTS’ failure to qualify and maintain its qualification as a REIT; environmental uncertainties and risks related to natural disasters; financial market fluctuations; changes in real estate and zoning laws, revaluations for tax purposes and increases in real property tax rates; limitations inherent in QTS’ current and any future joint venture investments, such as lack of sole decision-making authority and reliance on QTS’ partners’ financial condition; and difficulties integrating the QTS business into Blackstone-managed vehicles or other challenges to achieve the expected benefits of the transaction.

While forward-looking statements reflect QTS’ and Blackstone’s (including BREIT) good faith beliefs, they are not guarantees of future performance or events. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it was made. QTS and Blackstone (including BREIT) disclaim any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect changes in underlying assumptions or factors, of new information, data or methods, future events or other changes. For a further discussion of these and other factors that could cause QTS’ future results or events to differ materially from any forward-looking statements, see the section entitled “Risk Factors” in QTS’ Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 and in the other periodic reports QTS files with the SEC. For a further discussion of these and other factors that could cause BREIT’s future results or events to differ materially from any forward-looking statements, see the section entitled “Risk Factors” in BREIT’s prospectus, its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, and in the other periodic reports BREIT files with the SEC.

QTS Investor Relations Contact:

Stephen Douglas
EVP Finance
Ir@qtsdatacenters.com

QTS Media Contact:

Carter B. Cromley
(703) 861-8245
carter.cromley@qtsdatacenters.com

or

Andrew Siegel / Viveca Tress / Lucas Pers
Joele Frank
(212) 355-4449

Blackstone Media Contacts:

Paula Chirhart
(347) 463-5453
Paula.Chirhart@blackstone.com

or

Jeffrey Kauth
(212) 583-5395
Jeffrey.Kauth@Blackstone.com

Past performance does not guarantee future results. Financial information is approximate and as of September 30, 2022, unless otherwise noted. The words “we”, “us”, and “our” refer to BREIT, together with its consolidated subsidiaries, including BREIT Operating Partnership L.P. (the “Operating Partnership”), unless the context requires otherwise.


Summary of Risk Factors

BREIT is a non-listed REIT that invests primarily in stabilized income-generating commercial real estate investments across asset classes in the United States and, to a lesser extent, real estate debt investments, with a focus on current income. We invest to a lesser extent in countries outside of the U.S. This investment involves a high degree of risk. You should purchase these securities only if you can afford the complete loss of your investment. You should read the prospectus carefully for a description of the risks associated with an investment in BREIT. These risks include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • There is no public trading market for our common stock and repurchase of shares by us will likely be the only way to dispose of your shares. We are not obligated to repurchase any shares under our share repurchase plan and may choose to repurchase only some, or even none, of the shares that have been requested to be repurchased. In addition, repurchases will be subject to available liquidity and other significant restrictions. Further, our board of directors may make exceptions to, modify or suspend our share repurchase plan. As a result, our shares should be considered as having only limited liquidity and at times may be illiquid.
  • Distributions are not guaranteed and may be funded from sources other than cash flow from operations, including borrowings, offering proceeds, the sale of our assets and repayments of our real estate debt investments. We have no limits on the amounts we may fund from such sources.
  • The purchase and repurchase price for shares of our common stock are generally based on our prior month’s net asset value (“NAV”) and are not based on any public trading market. While there will be independent annual appraisals of our properties, the appraisal of properties is inherently subjective, and our NAV may not accurately reflect the actual price at which our properties could be liquidated on any given day. The NAV per share, if calculated as of the date on which you make your subscription request or repurchase request, may be significantly different than the transaction price you pay or the repurchase price you receive. Certain of our investments or liabilities are subject to high levels of volatility from time to time and could change in value significantly between the end of the prior month as of which our NAV is determined and the date that you acquire or repurchase our shares, however the prior month’s NAV per share will generally continue to be used as the offering price per share and repurchase price per share.
  • We are dependent on BX REIT Advisors L.L.C. (the “Adviser”) to conduct our operations. The Adviser will face conflicts of interest as a result of, among other things, the allocation of investment opportunities among us and Other Blackstone Accounts (as defined in BREIT’s prospectus), the allocation of time of its investment professionals and the substantial fees that we will pay to the Adviser.
  • On acquiring shares, you will experience immediate dilution in the net tangible book value of your investment.
  • There are limits on the ownership and transferability of our shares.
  • If we fail to qualify as a REIT and no relief provisions apply, our NAV and cash available for distribution to our stockholders could materially decrease.
  • We do not own the Blackstone name, but we are permitted to use it as part of our corporate name pursuant to a trademark license agreement with an affiliate of Blackstone Inc. (together with its affiliates, “Blackstone”). Use of the name by other parties or the termination of our trademark license agreement may harm our business.

Certain countries have been susceptible to epidemics which may be designated as pandemics by world health authorities, most recently COVID-19. The outbreak of such epidemics, together with any resulting restrictions on travel or quarantines imposed, has had and may in the future have a negative impact on the economy and business activity globally (including in the countries in which BREIT invests), and thereby may adversely affect the performance of BREIT’s investments. Furthermore, the rapid development of epidemics could preclude prediction as to their ultimate adverse impact on economic and market conditions, and, as a result, presents material uncertainty and risk with respect to BREIT and the performance of its investments. For further information on the impact of COVID-19 on BREIT, please refer to “Risk Factors—The current outbreak of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has caused severe disruptions in the U.S. and global economy and has had an adverse impact on our performance and results of operations” in BREIT’s prospectus.

On February 24, 2022, Russian troops began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and, as of the date of this material, the countries remain in active armed conflict. Around the same time, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and several other nations announced a broad array of new or expanded sanctions, export controls, and other measures against Russia, Russia-backed separatist regions in Ukraine, and certain banks, companies, government officials, and other individuals in Russia and Belarus. The ongoing conflict and the rapidly evolving measures in response could be expected to have a negative impact on the economy and business activity globally (including in the countries in which BREIT invests), and therefore could adversely affect the performance of BREIT’s investments. The severity and duration of the conflict and its impact on global economic and market conditions are impossible to predict, and as a result, could present material uncertainty and risk with respect to BREIT and the performance of its investments and operations, and the ability of BREIT to achieve its investment objectives. Similar risks will exist to the extent that any investments, service providers, vendors or certain other parties have material operations or assets in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, or the immediate surrounding areas.

Certain information contained in this material has been obtained from sources outside Blackstone, which in certain cases has not been updated through the date hereof. While such information is believed to be reliable for purposes used herein, no representations are made as to the accuracy or completeness thereof and none of Blackstone, its funds, nor any of their affiliates takes any responsibility for, and has not independently verified, any such information. This information involves a number of assumptions and limitations, and you are cautioned not to give undue weight to these estimates.

Opinions expressed reflect the current opinions of BREIT as of the date appearing in the materials only and are based on BREIT’s opinions of the current market environment, which is subject to change. Stockholders, financial professionals and prospective investors should not rely solely upon the information presented when making an investment decision and should review the most recent prospectus, as supplemented, available at vip.blackstone.com/breit-stage-latest. Certain information contained in the materials discusses general market activity, industry or sector trends, or other broad-based economic, market or political conditions and should not be construed as research or investment advice.

All rights to the trademarks and/or logos presented herein belong to their respective owners and Blackstone’s use hereof does not imply an affiliation with, or endorsement by, the owners of these logos.

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Forward-Looking Statements

Certain information contained in this communication constitutes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward looking terminology, such as “outlook,” “indicator,” “believes,” “expects,” “potential,” “continues,” “identified,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “seeks,” “approximately,” “predicts,” “intends,” “plans,” “estimates,” “anticipates”, “confident,” “conviction,” or the negative versions of these words or other comparable words thereof. These may include financial estimates and their underlying assumptions, statements about plans, objectives and expectations with respect to future operations, statements with respect to acquisitions, statements regarding future performance and statements regarding identified but not yet closed acquisitions. Such forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain and there are or may be important factors that could cause actual outcomes or results to differ materially from those indicated in such statements. BREIT believes these factors include, but are not limited to, those described under the section entitled “Risk Factors” in BREIT’s prospectus and annual report for the most recent fiscal year, and any such updated factors included in its periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), which are accessible on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. These factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with the other cautionary statements that are included in this document (or BREIT’s prospectus and other filings). Except as otherwise required by federal securities laws, BREIT undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

Blackstone Securities Partners L.P. (“BSP”) is a broker-dealer whose purpose is to distribute Blackstone managed or affiliated products. BSP provides services to its Blackstone affiliates, not to investors in its funds, strategies or other products. BSP does not make any recommendation regarding, and will not monitor, any investment. As such, when BSP presents an investment strategy or product to an investor, BSP does not collect the information necessary to determine—and BSP does not engage in a determination regarding—whether an investment in the strategy or product is in the best interests of, or is suitable for, the investor. You should exercise your own judgment and/or consult with a professional advisor to determine whether it is advisable for you to invest in any Blackstone strategy or product. Please note that BSP may not provide the kinds of financial services that you might expect from another financial intermediary, such as overseeing any brokerage or similar account. For financial advice relating to an investment in any Blackstone strategy or product, contact your own professional advisor.

This website must be read in conjunction with BREIT’s prospectus in order to fully understand all the implications and risks of an investment in BREIT. Please refer to the prospectus for more information regarding state suitability standards and consult a financial professional for share class availability and appropriateness.

THIS IS NEITHER AN OFFER TO SELL NOR A SOLICITATION OF AN OFFER TO BUY THE SECURITIES DESCRIBED IN THE PROSPECTUS FOR THE OFFERING, AS AMENDED AND SUPPLEMENTED (THE “PROSPECTUS”). THE OFFERING IS MADE ONLY BY THE PROSPECTUS AND THIS MATERIAL MUST BE PRECEDED OR ACCOMPANIED BY THE PROSPECTUS. NEITHER THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION NOR ANY OTHER STATE SECURITIES REGULATOR HAS APPROVED OR DISAPPROVED OF THE SECURITIES OR DETERMINED IF THE PROSPECTUS IS TRUTHFUL OR COMPLETE. IN ADDITION, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK HAS NOT PASSED ON OR ENDORSED THE MERITS OF THE OFFERING. ANY REPRESENTATION TO THE CONTRARY IS UNLAWFUL.