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Forest City decides against sale; report points to sweetened offer for GGP

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.

Call it a day

* Forest City Realty Trust Inc., which just wrapped up its strategic review process, opted to continue its stand-alone plan instead of pursuing a sale. The board of directors decided to forgo a $25-per-share cash buyout proposal that it received March 13, given its terms and pricing.

Additionally, the diversified real estate investment trust agreed with activist shareholders to shuffle its board and also expanded its existing $100 million share repurchase plan to $400 million.

Begin again

* More than three months after rejecting an earlier bid from Brookfield Property Partners LP, regional mall landlord GGP Inc. reportedly received a new buyout offer from the diversified commercial real estate company. The new bid provides for a slightly higher cash component and a new security for GGP stockholders that would trade as a REIT, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources.

Commenting on the news, Mizuho Securities USA LLC's Haendel St. Juste said he believes the improved offer brings Brookfield Property closer to a deal and argued that GGP is worth $26 per share.

* Canadian diversified REIT H&R Real Estate Investment Trust and H&R Finance Trust amended their internal reorganization plan following the recently enacted U.S. tax reform bill. The revised plan, which will involve a transfer of debt and units between the parties but eliminates the establishment of H&R Finance (2017) Trust as a replacement for H&R Finance Trust, is scheduled for implementation by August.

Building change

* As part of its ongoing call for change at Taubman Centers Inc., Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC nominated founder and Chief Investment Officer Jonathan Litt to the regional mall REIT's board. The activist investor wants the REIT to eliminate its dual-class voting share structure by exchanging common shares for its series B convertible preferred stock, most of which is owned by the Taubman family.

* Land & Buildings also pressed RLJ Lodging Trust to immediately launch a strategic review, arguing the hospitality REIT's stock is undervalued and underperforming. The activist investor named Michelle Applebaum, former CEO of equity research firm Michelle Applebaum Research Inc., and public real estate investor Samantha Yablon as its director nominees for RLJ's board.

Going, going, gone

* Real estate operator and manager FRP Holdings Inc. struck a $358.9 million deal to sell 41 industrial warehouses and two adjacent lots to an affiliate of private equity giant Blackstone Group LP's Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII LP fund. The deal, slated to close in the second or third quarter, is contingent on shareholder approval and other customary conditions.

* Equity Commonwealth's Re/Max Plaza International office building in Denver changed hands for roughly $115.2 million. The office REIT's operating unit sold the property to KORE Investments, according to the Denver Business Journal.

* Partners Real Estate Investment Trust is looking to sell as many as 11 of its 34 properties across Canada and hired BMO Capital Markets to market the assets. The primarily retail REIT will use the proceeds for debt reduction and capital investments in remaining assets.

Conference coverage

S&P Global Market Intelligence was on the ground in New York City at the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate's 2018 REIT Symposium.

Conference Chatter: To soften blow of disruption, embrace it

Conference Chatter: REIT discounts portend flat or declining CRE values 'over the next few years'

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