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Farmland Partners, American Farmland close merger

Farmland Partners Inc. and American Farmland Co. finalized their merger, creating the largest public farmland REIT in the U.S. with a roughly $400 million market cap.

Headquartered in Denver, the merged company retained the Farmland Partners name and trades on the NYSE under the existing ticker FPI.

Paul Pittman remains CEO and board chairman for the combined company, with Luca Fabbri serving as CFO and treasurer. Former American Farmland President and Chief Investment Officer Robert Cowan serves as president of the combined company. Simultaneously with the deal's closing, Farmland Partners' board was expanded to eight directors with the addition of D. Dixon Boardman and Thomas Gimbel, the respective former chairman and former CEO and a director of American Farmland.

The transaction resulted in the conversion of each American Farmland common share into 0.7417 shares of newly issued Farmland Partners common stock and each unit of limited partnership interest in American Farmland's operating partnership into 0.7417 common units of limited partnership interest in Farmland Partners' operating partnership.

The merged company is about 60.89%-owned by Farmland Partners shareholders and 39.11%-owned by American Farmland stockholders. Farmland Partners expects the deal to be about 10% accretive to its adjusted funds from operations per share in 2017, rising to 20% accretive as synergies are fully realized, according to a release.

Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. was the financial adviser to Farmland Partners, with Morrison & Foerster LLP and Venable LLP serving as its legal advisers. Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and Raymond James & Associates Inc. were American Farmland's financial advisers, while Goodwin Procter LLP was its legal adviser.