News and blog

Advocates come out against proposed acquisition of Tricon by Blackstone

March 11, 2024

Followingthe announcement that private equity giant Blackstone plans to acquire Tricon Residential, Private Equity Stakeholder Project (PESP) and partners UNITE HERE Local 11, AFSCME Local 3299, and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) are calling on investors to block the deal.

Blackstone, which is already the largest landlord in the nation, and the world, announced that it planned to get even bigger by acquiring Tricon, which owns and operates 38,000 SFR properties in the U.S. 

Blackstone already owns 28,000 single-family rental (SFR) homes, and if the acquisition is approved, Blackstone would be the third-largest SFR owner in the U.S. behind only Progress Residential and Invitation Homes.

Blackstone intends to purchase Tricon through its private equity fund Real Estate Partners X, in which a number of public employee pension funds have invested billions of dollars – the largest investors are CalSTRS (the California State Teachers Retirement System), the North Carolina Retirement System, and the New York State Common Retirement Fund.

Citing Blackstone’s poor track record as a landlord and its role in driving up housing prices, PESP is calling on those pension funds to tell Blackstone not to invest their money in this deal unless Blackstone agrees to a set of standards that ensure strong protections for tenants and protect investors from potential headline and reputational risks rising from rent increases, evictions, and other predatory practices. Additionally, AFSCME Local 3299 and ACCE led protests on February 14 calling for University of California Chancellors to “break up with Blackstone” and divest from the private equity firm in response to its role in the affordable housing crisis in California and across the U.S.

“This deal will harm tenants and establish an anti-competitive marketplace. It should be rejected by both investors and regulators,” said Jordan Ash, of the Private Equity Stakeholder Project. “Blackstone’s poor track record as a landlord is well known and well documented. Giving them more of a market share would be disastrous and only accelerate the affordable housing crisis in this nation.”

The private equity firm is also currently embroiled in a labor dispute with workers at the Blackstone-owned Fairfield LAX/El Segundo, Aloft LAX/El Segundo and Sheraton Phoenix, who are fighting for living wages, affordable benefits, and adequate staffing. According to UNITE HERE Local 11, most workers at Blackstone’s LAX hotels make $21 per hour, and would have to spend 55% of their pre-tax income to afford a one-bedroom apartment. 

“Blackstone has a terrible track record for workers and tenants, failing to pay their workers living wages on the one hand and increasing rents with the other,” said UNITE HERE Local 11 Co-President Kurt Petersen. “We urge investors and stakeholders to oppose Blackstone’s planned acquisition of Tricon unless there are protections in place for tenants and to demand Blackstone resolve fair contracts for their hotel workers.”

For more information about Blackstone’s outsized role in the housing industry, read PESP’s report “Blackstone Comes to Collect: How America’s Largest Landlord and Wall Street’s Highest Paid CEO Are Jacking Up Rents and Ramping Up Evictions

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