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In Play Today: US real estate market sees more activism, splits and spins

SNL Real Estate presents In Play Today, a periodic summary of potential deal activity in the sector, including rumored transactions and shareholder activism. This summary is based on information obtained by SNL and may not be inclusive of all potential deal activity. Send comments and news leads to

In play

* Brookdale Senior Living Inc.'s potential sale to Zhonghong Zhuoye Group Co. Ltd. reportedly hit a bump after the Chinese firm's loan to fund the transaction was put on hold amid tightened regulatory scrutiny in China over outbound acquisitions. Aside from Zhonghong Zhuoye, Brookdale had reportedly been in talks for a possible sale with Ventas Inc. and Blackstone Group LP.

* Americold received a more than $3 billion buyout offer from Blackstone but rejected the bid, according to the New York Post. The refrigerated warehousing provider is continuing its strategic review and could decide on either an IPO or an outright sale.

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Shareholder activism

* Forest City Realty Trust Inc. is weighing a possible merger, sale and other strategic alternatives, following pressure from activist shareholder Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC. In line with its plan to tailor its focus to multifamily, office and mixed-use properties in core urban markets, the company struck a roughly $3.18 billion deal to shed its stake in 10 U.S. malls to joint-venture partner QIC and is unloading its 51% stake in a 12-property specialty-retail portfolio in the New York City metro area in a $1.0 billion deal with joint-venture partner Madison International Realty.

* Cedar Realty Trust Inc. is reportedly being pressed by activist hedge fund Snow Park Capital Partners LP to consider strategic options, including a potential sale. Cedar Realty was also rumored to have explored a buyout by DDR Corp. earlier in 2017, but decided against it.

* ILG Inc. shareholder activist FrontFour Capital Group is threatening a proxy battle against the U.S. timeshare operator by early 2018 if a merger deal is not reached with Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. or another competitor, according to Bloomberg News. ILG, formerly known as Interval Leisure Group Inc., was earlier reported to have held deal talks with Marriott Vacations and Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. after FrontFour pressured the company to seek a merger with Marriott Vacations at a meaningful premium.

* GAMCO Asset Management Inc. wants Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc. to spin out its entertainment business and will submit the proposal for a vote at the hotel real estate investment trust's 2018 annual meeting. GAMCO and its affiliates claimed to own a 10.43% stake in Ryman as of Sept. 28.

Splits and spins

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Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill
Source: Wyndham Worldwide Corp.

* Brookfield Property Partners LP is weighing a possible sale of a stake in its northeastern U.S. office portfolio with a projected value of as much as $10 billion. The sale could clear the path toward spinning out the portfolio into a REIT, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources.

* Wyndham Worldwide Corp. is splitting its hotel business into two stand-alone public entities — a pure-play hotel company and a timeshare company — during the first half of 2018. The company is also evaluating strategic options for its European rental brands.

* La Quinta Holdings Inc. filed with the SEC its plan to create a real estate spinoff called CorePoint Lodging Inc., for which it will seek REIT status. The real estate segment will be separated from the company's franchise and management businesses, which will continue to operate within the current La Quinta entity.