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Ashford Prime gets sweetened offer; RioCan buying out partner in Canadian assets

An increasedtakeover bid, big-buck property deals, a completed merger and another M&A dealin the works all made headlines, as earnings season kicked into gear during theweek ending July 22.

Upping the ante

Weisman Group LLC stepped up its pursuit of with anincreased takeover bidof $1.54 billion. The REIT had deemed the original offer to be "," but the parties hadagreed to pursue furthertalks.

The investor, which owns roughly 5.3% of the REIT's outstandingshares, said in a Thursday letter that it raised its offer to about $23.65 per sharefrom an initial bid of$20.25 per share, or $1.48 billion in the aggregate. The new offer price represents$20.58 per share after allocating a $70 million termination fee payable to AshfordInc., the REIT's external manager.

Canaccord Genuity Inc. analyst Ryan Meliker said in a note thathe thinks the new offer price represents "a full and fair value" for AshfordPrime and increases the possibility that the parties will seal a deal. "Whilethe $20.58 price is below our NAV estimate, we also believe it is higher than anylevel the stock would achieve at any point in the foreseeable future," Melikersaid. Rejecting the offer would "highlight that the external management structureis value-destructive," he said.

Going shopping

* RioCan Real EstateInvestment Trust announced Thursday that it struck a deal with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Boardto take full ownership of four Canadian properties they jointly own. The REIT agreedto pay C$352 million to buy out Canada Pension Plan's 50% stake in the assets.

CEO Edward Sonshine said in a release that the deal is expectedto increase RioCan's focus on Canada's core urban markets to about 77%. The companyexpects to wrap up the deal before July-end. The company also outlined its recentlycompleted and planned stake acquisitions in several other properties.

* A consolidated joint venture between Douglas Emmett Inc. and the Qatar Investment Authority $225 million on a 365,000-square-footproperty at 12100 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles, bringing the company's share ofthe Brentwood class A office market to 61% from 50%.

The company plans to retain an equity interest of 20% to 30%in the venture, which it will manage, with the remaining stake to be held by institutionalpartners.

* Regency CentersCorp. increased its footprint in Washington's Puget Sound area to 11properties with the acquisitionof Klahanie Shopping Center in Seattle. The company said Monday it paid $36 millionfor the Quality Food Centers-anchored shopping center.

* Urstadt BiddleProperties Inc. beefed up its portfolio with the roughly $45.3 millionacquisition of the NewfieldGreen Shopping Center in Stamford, Conn. The company also launched a public of 2,750,000 class A commonshares at $23.70 apiece, and proceeds will go toward paying down debt.

* EastGroup PropertiesInc. on Wednesday detailed some of its property transactions subsequentto second quarter-end, including its $32 million purchase of the four-building Parc North complex in FortWorth, Texas.

Brushing up the portfolio

* Pennsylvania RealEstate Investment Trust said Monday it agreed to sell a mall in Washington, Pa., and an office buildingin New Jersey in deals expected to be finalized before third quarter-end. The companyis also looking to sell BeaverValley Mall in Monaca, Pa. The transactions are part of the company'songoing effort to improve its portfolio quality.

* Brandywine RealtyTrust disclosed in a Wednesday earnings release that it a two-building office portfolioin Herndon, Va., in a $44.5 million deal closed in May and an unconsolidated jointventure sold its office property in suburban Pennsylvania for $32.1 million in June,among other transactions.

Earning spurs

* SL Green RealtyCorp. on Wednesday reportedthat the $1.76 billion saleof Citigroup Inc.'s headquarters helped drive its second-quarter FFO per share to$3.39 from $1.62 in the same period a year ago.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg LP and Omnicom Group increased their tenancyat two of the company's office towers in Manhattan, N.Y. Bloomberg on an additional 204,442-square-footspace at the 919 Third, and Omnicom extended its lease for a 64,111-square-foot space at the 220East 42nd St. tower, known as TheNews Building.

* Prologis Inc.said Tuesday it loggedyear-over-year gains in core FFO during the second quarter, thanks in part to "all-timelow vacancy rates" in the company's U.S. and European operations.

"In spite of Brexit, our key business drivers remain intact,and we do not anticipate a material operational impact," Chairman and CEO HamidMoghadam said in an earnings release.

In the offing

Another merger may be on the horizon, as it was revealed Mondaythat Presidential Realty proposing to buy outsubstantially all of First CapitalReal Estate Trust Inc.'s assets in exchange for newly issued shares.

First Capital CEO Suneet Singal has high hopes for the proposeddeal, saying in a release that the deal "further advances" the company'sliquidity plan for its shareholders. The potential transaction is contingent onboard and shareholder approvals, among other factors.

A new lease on Life

Sovran Self StorageInc. plans to rebrand itself as Life Storage Inc. and change its tickeron the NYSE to LSI from SSS. The rebranding, which will be rolled out in mid-August,will also apply to 563 storage facilities that currently operate under the UncleBob's Self Storage brand.

The company disclosed the rebranding plan Monday, as it announcedthe completion of its$1.3 billion acquisitionof LifeStorage LP.

Sticking it out

Consolidated-TomokaLand Co. has decidedto stay the course on its business plan, following a review of strategic options that included an outright saleof the company and certain of its properties.

The company said Wednesday that none of the expressions of interestit received from potential acquirers provided a "meaningful premium" forshareholders, but it will continue negotiations with interested parties regardingsome of its properties.

Earnings call coverage

As second-quarter earningskicked in during the week ending July 22, S&P Global Market Intelligence tunedin to conference calls hosted by some of the larger players in the real estate sector.

SL Green execstrumpet leasing numbers in bold market assessment: On an earnings call,CEO Marc Holliday described a flourishing New York office market, in sharp contrastwith the more tenuous picture he presented in January.

SL Green will notstray because of Brexit, CEO says: CEO Marc Holliday said on an earningscall that the tumult surrounding the Brexit referendum had renewed the company'scommitment to New York rather than piqued its interest in London.

Prologis CEO 'confident'in EU business, sees 'minimal' impact from Brexit: On an earnings call,executives acknowledged that news out of Europe will continue to generate marketvolatility, but they expect robust leasing to continue to drive results.

Supply worrieswill continue for years, LaSalle execs say: Despite reports of tighterconstruction lending, there have been no reports of projects being canceled, Presidentand CEO Mike Barnello said in a conference call.

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