(Recasts first sentence, adds analysts quotes, background,
stock price, other apartment REITs, dateline, byline)
By Ilaina Jonas
NEW YORK Jan 23 Apartment owner Post
Properties Inc PPS.N on Wednesday said former CEO John
Williams teamed up with a Canadian pension fund in an
unsolicited bid of about $2.0 billion for the company, sending
its shares up 16 percent.
The offer from Williams Realty Advisors LLC and Cadim, part
of pension fund Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, of $44
to $47 a share translates into $1.97 billion to $2.1 billion,
plus the assumption of debt.
The midpoint of the offer represents a 27 percent premium
over the stock's Tuesday closing price of $35.77.
Shares of the Atlanta-based apartment owner rose as high as
$44.10 before closing at $41.50, up $5.73, on the New York
The deal helped lift other apartment real estate
investments trusts. Apartment Investment and Management Co
(AIV.N) closed up 12.2 percent, or $4.26, at $39.10. AvalonBay
Communities Inc (AVB.N) rose 10.9 percent, or $9.45, to
"While we believe a private takeout could be the best
scenario for the company, we must caution that we've been here
before," Stifel Nicolaus analyst Rod Petrik wrote in a research
Post has been the subject of numerous offers over the past
three or four years but has declined to sell.
"In light of the board's decision to conduct a process and
not enter into discussions with only one party, the board at
this time has made no determination as to the adequacy of the
Cadim/Williams proposal," David Stockert, Post's CEO, said in a
Petrik said he would be surprised if the company accepted
an offer below $50 per share. The net asset value of the
properties is about $49 per share, he estimated.
On the other hand, UBS analyst Alex Goldfarb, who estimated
Post's net asset value at about $55 per share, said a counter
bid would require a substantial amount of equity, unlike
acquisition deals in the past, such as the $15.3 billion buyout
of apartment owner Archstone-Smith.
As in the Archstone deal, Fannie Mae FNM.N and Freddie
Mac FRE.N could step in to supply the financing, Goldfarb
Post owns 22,249 apartment units, including joint ventures
and those under construction, in 62 communities. The deal comes
to about $145,900 to $151,900 per existing apartment, Petrik
J.P. Morgan Securities Inc is acting as the company's
(See www.reutersrealestate.com for the new global service for
real estate professionals from Reuters)
(Additional reporting by Manish Gupta in Bangalore, editing by
Deepak Kannan, Anil D'Silva; Editing by Gary Hill)