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The Blackstone Group agreed to pay $18.7 billion to buy a portfolio of U.S. industrial warehouses, totaling 179 million square feet, from Singapore's GLP, which had been prepping an IPO of the business.

Why it matters: It's the largest such purchase in history and makes Blackstone an even more dominant player in U.S. real estate. It's also the private equity industry's latest "back to the future" deal, as Blackstone previously owned around half of the properties, selling them to GLP in 2015.

  • Caveat: There have been reports this is private equity's largest real estate deal ever, not just its largest logistics property deal, although that claim depends on how you characterize Blackstone's $39 billion purchase of Equity Office in 2007.

The bottom line: "The rise of Amazon — GLP’s biggest tenant — and other e-commerce companies has spurred demand for industrial warehouses. Valuations of publicly-traded warehouse owners have surged in some cases by 30% this year. Particularly prized are properties near big cities, which help solve the 'last-mile' puzzle posed by a move toward next-day delivery," writes the Wall Street Journal.

Go deeper: The race to dominate the $1.5 trillion business of moving stuff

Go deeper

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congress grants waiver for retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to lead Pentagon

Defense Secretary nominee Lloyd Austin. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Both chambers of Congress on Thursday voted to grant retired Gen. Lloyd Austin a waiver to lead the Pentagon, clearing the path to confirmation for President Biden's nominee for defense secretary.

Why it matters: Austin's nomination received pushback from some lawmakers, including Democrats, who cited a law that requires officers be out of the military for at least seven years before taking the job — a statute intended to reinforce the tradition of civilian control of the Pentagon.

McConnell to propose February impeachment trial

Sen. Mitch McConnell Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) plans to propose later today that the impeachment trial of former President Trump begin in February to allow for due process, two sources familiar with the proposal tell Axios.

Why it matters: The impeachment trial is likely to grind other Senate business to a halt, including the confirmation process for President Biden's Cabinet nominees.

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