Equity Commonwealth to acquire Monmouth Real Estate for $1.91 billion in stock

(Reuters) - Equity Commonwealth, a U.S. real estate investment trust, will acquire rival Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corp for $1.91 billion in stock, the companies said late Tuesday.

Monmouth shareholders will receive 0.67 shares of Equity Commonwealth for each share they own, representing a premium of 6.3%, or about $19.40 per target company’s share based on Equity Commonwealth’s Monday close.

“The transaction provides Equity Commonwealth with a high-quality, net-leased industrial business with stable cash flows while preserving EQC’s balance sheet capacity for future acquisitions,” Equity Commonwealth Chairman Sam Zell said in a statement.

Monmouth’s portfolio comprises 120 properties totalling 24.5 million square feet across 31 states, the companies said in a statement.

Including debt, the deal is valued at about $3.4 billion, with the combined company expected to have a pro forma equity market capitalization of about $5.5 billion.

Equity Commonwealth and Monmouth shareholders are expected to own about 65% and 35%, respectively, of the pro forma company following the completion of the deal, expected during the second half of the year.

Goldman Sachs & Co is acting as financial adviser and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson LLP is serving as legal adviser to Equity Commonwealth.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and CS Capital Advisors, LLC are acting as financial advisers and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP is serving as legal adviser to Monmouth.

Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva