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New Senior to internalize; Belmond reviews strategic alternatives

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.

Internalize and cut

Following the conclusion of a strategic review, seniors housing landlord New Senior Investment Group will internalize its management. The company also cut its quarterly dividend to 13 cents per share from 26 cents per share and plans to refinance a $720 million loan.

New Senior will pay its external manager, Fortress Investment Group LLC affiliate FIG LLC, $50 million to terminate its management agreement and expects to save $10 million annually in general and administrative expenses following the internalization.

Reviewing options

* Luxury hotel operator Belmond Ltd. saw a 37% jump in its share price at market open Aug. 9 after its board revealed that it is evaluating a full range of strategic alternatives, including a possible sale.

Activists at the gates — literally

* Prison real estate investment trusts CoreCivic Inc. and GEO Group Inc. faced protests during the week for perceived injustices in their business practices. Protesters blocked the entrances of CoreCivic's headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., on Aug. 6, and another group of activists gathered at GEO Group's temporary headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., the next day.

Both REITs went on a counteroffensive against what they say are egregious mischaracterizations of their business. GEO Group also sent a cease-and-desist letter to its antagonist, activist group Dream Defenders.

Wrapping up

* Real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield PLC wrapped up its IPO of 51,750,000 ordinary shares, priced at $17.00 apiece, including the underwriters' full exercise of their option to buy 6,750,000 additional shares, for gross proceeds of $879.8 million.

Farm fallout

* Agricultural REIT Farmland Partners Inc., which saw a sharp drop in stock price in July after an anonymous report alleged that the company artificially inflated rents, lowered its quarterly dividend for the third quarter to 5 cents per common share from 12.75 cents per share. It also increased its share repurchase authorization.

By the billions

* The California Public Employees' Retirement System plans to invest up to $4.80 billion in U.S. real estate over the next 12 months, according to IPE Real Assets.

* Privately held alternative investment firm Angelo Gordon & Co. LP held the first close for its 10th fund at $1.9 billion, according to PERE News. The fund, AG Realty Fund X, has a target of $2.7 billion and will focus mainly on U.S. value-add investments.

* Colony Capital Inc. raised about $1.8 billion in third-party capital from institutional clients during the second quarter. The diversified REIT's digital real estate infrastructure vehicle Digital Colony attracted $932 million during the quarter.

Conference call coverage

With the second-quarter earnings season winding down, S&P Global Market Intelligence reporters tuned in to conference calls by some of the larger players in the real estate industry.

As Marriott trims Starwood portfolio, CEO disputes reports of weaker booking

Omega Healthcare considering $90M more in asset sales

Prison REITs on counteroffensive after activist campaigns

Farm-oriented REIT CEOs: Trade war to have no immediate hit on operations

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