Rouse Properties agrees to sweetened Brookfield offer

People walk to Brookfield Place off Bay Street on the day of the annual general meeting for Brookfield Asset Management shareholders in Toronto, May 7, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

(Reuters) - U.S. real estate investment trust Rouse Properties Inc RSE.N said Canadian asset manager Brookfield Asset Management Inc BAMa.TOBAM.N agreed to buy the company in a sweetened deal valued at about $2.8 billion, including debt.

Brookfield Asset’s latest cash offer of $18.25 per share represents a premium of 2.82 percent to Rouse’s Wednesday close and values the real estate company at $1.06 billion.

Brookfield, which is already Rouse’s biggest shareholder, had made an all-cash unsolicited offer last month to buy all of the company’s shares it did not already own for $17 each.

The Canadian company, which has about $225 billion in assets under management, owned 33 percent of Rouse as of Jan. 16.

Rouse’s shares were trading at $18.05 ahead of the opening bell on Thursday.

Rouse owns 35 malls and retail centers in 21 U.S. states. The company had $1.64 billion in debt as of Sept. 30, according to Thomson Reuters data.

BofA Merrill Lynch acted as financial adviser to Rouse Properties, and Sidley Austin LLP acted as legal counsel.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty a