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RioCan hones in; activists speak out

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of U.S. real estate news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries may have links to third-party sources that may require a subscription.

Oh, Canada

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust is accelerating its push to fine tune its portfolio to focus on Canada's six major markets. The company announced that it plans to sell more than 100 properties in secondary markets for expected net proceeds of $1.5 billion. After the realignment is completed in two to three years, the company expects to derive 90% of its annualized rental revenue from the top markets, compared to its current level of 75%.

RioCan also announced that it teamed up with Allied Properties REIT to purchase Diamond Corp's 20% interest in the office and retail portions of The Well development in Toronto for C$42 million.

Smart Real Estate Investment Trust closed on a deal to purchase 12 retail properties from a OneREIT subsidiary in exchange for SmartREIT shares and the assumption of C$325 million in debt. Smart Real Estate Investment Trust and Strathallen Acquisitions Inc. also closed their C$1.1 billion buyout of OneREIT.

Speaking out

Activist investor Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC panned the Taubman Centers Inc. board for amending the company's bylaws to limit the jurisdictions in which shareholders may challenge the company legally to Michigan, where the company is headquartered.

Sandpiper Real Estate Fund Ltd Partnership upped its stake in Agellan Commercial REIT to 11.5% as it seeks to call a special meeting to reconstitute the company's board and vote on a "sweetheart" payout to the REIT's external manager. Agellan is planning to internalize its management.

Done deals

Government Properties Income Trust completed its $1.4 billion acquisition of First Potomac Realty Trust. Under the terms of the deal, First Potomac shareholders received $11.15 per share in cash, representing a premium of approximately 9.3% to the company's 30-trading-day volume-weighted average price ended April 24.

Phillips Edison Grocery Center REIT I Inc finalized the $1 billion cash-and-stock deal to purchase the real estate assets and third-party asset-management business of its former sponsor and external adviser.

On the horizon

Brookfield Property Partners LP could sell a stake in its northeastern U.S. office portfolio that would value the assets at $10 billion, Reuters reported. A sale could set up the company to spin off the portfolio into an independent publicly traded REIT.

Forest City Realty Trust Inc. is set to sell its stake in a portfolio of 10 U.S. malls for $3.18 billion and transfer its retail operating platform to its joint venture partner, QIC. The first six malls are expected to be transferred by year-end.

New York REIT is in advanced talks to sell two Garment District buildings in Manhattan, N.Y., to Brickman for $155 million, and Columbia Property Trust Inc. is reportedly set to purchase two of the company's office properties in Chelsea for $550 million, The Real Deal reported.

Xenia Hotels & Resorts Inc. acquired two Arizona hotels from Hyatt Hotels Corp. for $305 million and also purchased an Arlington, Va., hotel for $105 million.

Washington Prime Group Inc. disclosed a spate of financing transactions in Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida and Iowa. Among them, the company will transfer the Southern Hills Mall in Sioux City, Iowa, along with its $99.7 million mortgage, to its lender before acquiring the property for $55.0 million.

Making moves

Washington Prime also announced the resignation of Executive Vice President and COO Butch Knerr. The company does not plan to fill the position.

Welltower Inc. Executive Vice President and CFO Scott Estes resigned and was replaced by John Goodey, who previously served as senior vice president of international.

Jon Huntsman Jr., the former governor of Utah, resigned from Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc's board, as he is slated to become the U.S. ambassador to Russia.

CBL & Associates Inc. changed its name to CBL Properties to "more accurately reflect the company’s current strategy, vision and values."

Lowering expectations

Vornado Realty Trust will report in its third-quarter results a $44.5 million noncash impairment loss on its investment in Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust due to a sustained trading stock price below its carrying value.

Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. cut its funds from operations per-share guidance for 2017 to between $1.92 and $2.00 from a previous range of $1.93 to $2.01 per share due to a recent notes offering and the pending sale of its stake in an office joint venture.

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