The continuing bidding saga for Equity Office Properties may finally be coming to an end. A day after fellow REIT Vornado Realty Trust sweetened its $56 cash and share offer by agreeing to pay the cash portion three weeks after the deal closed, Blackstone Group LP raised its $54 all-cash offer to $55.50. Tomorrow, Equity Office's shareholders vote on what will be the largest leveraged buyout ever. The board, chaired by Sam Zell, advised that shareholders vote to approve the merger since "the alternative transaction proposed [by] Vornado would still subject Equity Office to market and event risks over the four to six months that would be required to close the entire transaction." Equity Office has the largest holding of office buildings in the U.S.
Sources: Press Release, Bloomberg, MarketWatch, NY Times
Commentary: Vornado, Blackstone Continue To Duke It Out In EOP Bidding WarVornado Outbids Blackstone (Again) in Fight For Equity Office Properties, Equity Office Properties: Sam Zell's Genius
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Equity Office Properties Trust (EOP), Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE:VNO). Competitors: Boston Properties Inc. (NYSE:BXP), Mack-Cali Realty Corp. (NYSE:CLI). ETFs: iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors (NYSEARCA:ICF), Vanguard REIT Index ETF (NYSEARCA:VNQ), WisdomTree Dividend Top 100 (NYSEARCA:DTN), streetTRACKS DJ Wilshire REIT (NYSEARCA:RWR)
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