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REIT Replay: Ending the week with Anbang

REITs slipped and the broader markets pushed higher Friday, April1, as Chinese insurer Anbang decided to drop its acquisition bid for Starwood, puttingan end to a bidding war with Marriott.

The MSCI US REIT Index (RMZ) fell 0.18% to 1,156.80, and theSNL US REIT Equity Index ticked down 0.02% to finish at 308.05. The Dow Jones IndustrialAverage gained 0.61% to close at 17,792.75, while the S&P 500 picked up 0.63%to end the day at 2,072.78.

Starwood Hotels& Resorts Worldwide Inc. and Marriott International Inc., after markets closed March 31,reaffirmed their mergercommitment after the consortium led by China's Anbang Insurance Group Co. decidedto walk away from itstakeover for the hotel company.

Citing"various market considerations," the consortium said earlier the sameday that it would no longer pursue its proposal to acquire Starwood.

The move puts the pendingStarwood-Marriott combinationback on track after a series of competingbids between Marriott and the consortium. The companies are aiming to close the deal in mid-2016.

Starwood shares tumbled 4.85% to $79.38 on April 1, while Marriottshares plunged 5.69% to $67.13.

In property news, ColumbiaProperty Trust Inc. solda 653,000-square-foot office asset in Baltimore, generating $187 million in grossproceeds.

The class A asset at 100East Pratt St. was acquired by Vision Properties. The company said April1 that the sale proceeds will be used for the repayment of a $119 million short-termbridge loan and borrowings on its unsecured credit facility.

Columbia Property shares dipped 0.45% to $21.89 on Friday.

In personnel moves, BostonProperties Inc. on April 1 announcedchanges under way on the company's board.

Specifically, MortimerZuckerman and Ivan Seidenberg are stepping down and will not stand forre-election as board chairmanand lead independent director, respectively, at the annual meeting in mid-May. Zuckermanwill receive the honorary title of chairman emeritus, effective at the end of histerm as director. Joel Klein, meanwhile, will take over the lead independent directorpost immediately after the meeting.

The company said its board nominated Karen Dykstra, a formerAOL Inc. executive, and First IndustrialRealty Trust Inc. President and CEO Bruce Duncan as directors. Duncanalso currently serves as chairman of Starwood Hotels & Resorts' board.

Shares of Boston Properties added 0.17% on Friday to close at$127.29, while First Industrial shares lost 0.57% to finish at $22.61.

In legal developments, BrixmorProperty Group Inc. is facinga securities fraud class-action lawsuit claiming that the company's statements regardingits business, operations and prospects for certain periods were false and misleadingand/or lacked a reasonable basis.

Saxena White PA said April 1 that the suit stems from allegationsthat Brixmor and its senior executives purposefully misrepresented the company'sfinancial results by manipulating income items for nine quarters in order to achieveconsistent quarterly same-property NOI growth.

Brixmor shares slid 0.43% on April 1 to $25.51.

In capital offerings, UMHProperties Inc. said April 1 that its offering of of its 8.0% series B cumulativeredeemable preferred stock was priced  at $25.50 apiece, with $49.4 million in net proceedsexpected.

The company plans to use the net proceeds for general corporatepurposes.

UMH shares inched up 0.10% to $9.93 on April 1.

Community HealthcareTrust Inc. is lookingto sell 4.5 million common shares in an underwritten offering, subject to market and other conditions.

The net proceeds from the offering, which also includes a 30-dayoption for underwriters to buy an additional 675,000 shares, will be funneled tothe company's operating partnership. Community Healthcare OP LP, in turn, will usepart of the proceeds to support pending acquisitions.

Community Healthcare shares dropped 1.95% on Friday to $18.13.

Now featured

Conference Chatter:Slumping CMBS, nontraded REIT regs and shareholder lawsuits on the docket at REITWise2016: At NAREIT's REITWise 2016 conference in Washington, D.C., participantsmulled the many troubles that can befall a company.

Anbang a 'veryformidable and incredible counterparty,' Starwood CEO says: StarwoodHotels CEO Tom Mangas said on a conference call that the company was "disappointed"it could not proceed with the Anbang consortium's takeover proposal, but ralliedbehind Marriott International's takeover offer as the best deal for shareholders.

Marriott's Sorenson:'We have zero buyer's remorse': On a conference call, the executiveseemed relieved that the Marriott-Starwood combination was back on track and projecteda mid-2016 close.

The Week in USReal Estate: Starwood-Marriott tie-up gets back on track as Anbang exits; Iron Mountain-Recalldeal advances: The April 1 weekly news roundup in the North Americanreal estate space also features a shopping center REIT closing its go-private dealand a flurry of strategic asset sales by three REITs.

Best of SNL: RealEstate, most read: The 10 most read real estate articles for the weekending April 1.

Best of SNL: RealEstate, editors' picks: Our real estate editors' picks for the beststories of the week ending April 1.

Market prices and indexvalues are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change