November 14, 2017
Equity Commonwealth, a Chicago-based REIT chaired by Sam Zell, has approached Forest City Realty Trust to discuss a possible merger. Combining the companies would create an office- and apartments-focused REIT worth more than $10 billion, making it one of the biggest mergers in the sector this year.
Cleveland-based Forest City Realty is considering the proposal for an all-stock merger with Equity Commonwealth as part of a process it has been running to explore its options, including selling the company. Forest City is primarily focused on office and apartment buildings in core urban markets, as well as mixed-use urban developments. It has market capitalization of $6.6 billion.
In 2014, Equity Commonwealth changed its name from Commonwealth REIT, shook up the board, adding Zell as chairman, replaced its management team and sold nearly $5 billion in assets. It has commercial office properties throughout the U.S., and a market capitalization of $3.8 billion.
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