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REIT Replay: 2 thumbs up

REITs and the broader markets regained lost ground Friday, April 8, as the proposed Marriottand Starwood Hotels combination received the green light from both companies' respectivestockholders.

The MSCI US REIT Index (RMZ) gained 0.62% to close at 1,150.05,and the SNL US REIT Equity Index increased 0.67% to end the week at 306.70. TheDow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.20% to 17.576.96, while the S&P 500 added0.28%, closing at 2,047.60.

Marriott InternationalInc. and Starwood Hotels& Resorts Worldwide Inc. appear to be on track to achieve theirtarget merger closingdate of mid-2016, with their stockholders approvingthe transaction in separatemeetings April 8.

Starwood stockholders, asagreed upon, will be paid $21.00 in cash and 0.8 share of Marriott commonstock for each Starwood common share they own at the deal's closing.

Marriott shares gained 1.59% to close at $66.57, while Starwoodshares added 1.02% to end the day at $78.97.

In capital offerings, the REIT unit of gaming company on April8 disclosed the pricerange and shares to be offered in its proposed IPO.

MGM Growth Properties,which will be the world's second gamingREIT, anticipates selling 50.0 million class A common shares at a rangeof $18 to $21 apiece, with estimated gross proceeds of $1.12 billion at the midpointand including the full exercise of a 7.5 million-share overallotment option.

The REIT's voting common shares will be classified, after theIPO, into class A shares and a single class B common share, with MGM Resorts owningthe latter.

Shares of MGM Resorts popped 3.32% to close at $22.39 on Friday.

Digital Euro Finco LLC, a unit of Digital Realty Trust Inc.'s operating partnership, an offering of €600 million of 2.625% guaranteed notes due inApril 2024.

The company said April 8 that the net proceeds from the debtoffering, which should be completed April 15, will be used to temporarily repayborrowings under its global revolving credit facility.

Digital Realty shares rose 0.52% to close at $90.54.

Ashford HospitalityPrime Inc. has wrappedup its review of strategicoptions, which included an outright sale of the company.

The hotel REIT said April 8 that it has decided to carry outfive immediate structural changes and longer-term initiatives, including an up to$50 million share repurchase program, a 20% quarterly cash dividend increase beginningwith the second quarter and selling as many as four assets that may include certainof its hotels in Philadelphia; Seattle; Tampa, Fla.; and Plano, Texas.

Ashford Hospitality Prime shares climbed 1.38%, closing at $11.04.

In executive moves, HowardHughes Corp. is parting company with CFO Andrew Richardson after more than five years of .

The company said April 8 that Richardson will in late 2016 to explore other opportunitiesand personal interests. He will assist with the company's immediate search for asuccessor.

Shares of Howard Hughes put on 1.61%, closing at $100.01.

A pair of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analysts on April 8 launchedcoverage of Gaming and Leisure PropertiesInc. with a "neutral" rating and a $32 stock price target.

The analysts said in a note that the company's pending of the bulk of 's realestate assets is factored into their estimates and price target calculations, asthey believe the transaction is "highly likely" to be completed in thesecond quarter.

Gaming and Leisure shares rose 0.29% to close at $31.63.

In an April 8 note, a pair of Janney analysts downgraded to"neutral" from "buy."

Venkat Kommineni and Robert Stevenson said they no longer thinkthe company's stock is "materially undervalued," given the almost 55%run in its stock price since they launched coverage of the company in October 2015.They added that they do not see any catalysts in the near term to push the stock/valuationhigher.

Shares of DuPont Fabros fell 0.46%, ending the day at $41.55.

Now featured

Data Dispatch:Real estate companies' debt offerings grew, equity offerings fell YOY in Q1'16:While equity issuance was up from the fourth quarter of 2015, the total equity dealvolume fell far short of the year-ago quarter.

Data Dispatch:REIT M&A slows to a trickle, but Brookfield-Rouse deal may be catalyst:The first quarter saw only one REIT deal, but some have said Brookfield's play forRouse could be a harbinger for more consolidation in the B mall arena.

Real Estate Rundown:'Buoyant' private RE fundraising cooling, but value-added strategies still attractive:Significantly fewer funds closed during the first quarter, but value-added strategieshad relative success, drawing 41% of the capital raised during the period, accordingto Preqin.

The Week in USReal Estate: Marriott-Starwood tie-up wins shareholder nods; Gaming REIT could gross$1.12B in IPO: The April 8 weekly roundup of news in the North Americanreal estate space also features a hospitality REIT capping off its strategic review,a new market player targeting smaller-scale investments and a telecom REIT eyeingmore investments in India.

Best of SNL: RealEstate, editors' picks: Our real estate editors' picks for the beststories of the week ending April 8.

Best of SNL: RealEstate, most read: The 10 most read real estate articles for the weekending April 8.

SNL Q1'16 M&ALeague Tables: SNL Financial released first-quarter 2016 M&A leaguetables for its covered North American sectors.

SNL Q1'16 CapitalMarkets League Tables: SNL Financial released first-quarter 2016 capitalmarkets league tables for its covered North American sectors.

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