Cole Credit Property Trust Closes on Acquisition of Cole Holdings Corp.

by Nate Hunter

Phoenix — CCPT III will pursue a listing on the New York Stock Exchange in June.

Phoenix — Cole Credit Property Trust III (CCPT III) has closed on its previously announced acquisition of Cole Holdings Corp., a Phoenix-based real estate investment management firm that manages more than $12 billion in assets.

CCPT III, a real estate investment trust focused on net-leased properties, will pursue a listing on the New York Stock Exchange, which is expected to occur in June. Upon a successful listing on the NYSE, CCPT III will be the second largest publicly traded REIT in the net-lease sector.

In late March, CCPT III rejected a $5.7 billion buyout offer from American Realty Capital Properties (ARCP). The move would have created the largest publicly traded REIT in the net-lease sector. ARCP originally asked CCPT III to withdraw its proposed acquisition of Cole Holdings and consider its proposal, which the company claimed was superior. Nicholas Schorsch, chairman and chief executive of ARCP, said that if CCPT III goes through with the merger with Cole Holdings, ARCP would have to reconsider its bid and reduce its offer.

“We are pleased to complete the acquisition of Cole Holdings, which provides our stockholders with additional growth potential and increased access to capital,” said Leonard Wood, chairman of the special committee of the CCPT III board of directors. “We expect to drive additional value for stockholders by leveraging the accretive benefits associated with self-management — by the same real estate management platform that has acquired and managed the industry-leading real estate assets of CCPT III since its inception.”

Christopher Cole, founder and executive chairman of Cole Holdings, said that the transaction positions Cole Holdings to realize its vision of creating a world-class real estate platform and providing investors the benefits of owning high-quality, income-producing real estate leased long term to creditworthy corporations. “We look forward to becoming one of the largest publicly traded REITs in the net-lease sector and to providing enhanced dividend expansion and significant growth potential to our stockholders.”

Additionally, CCPT III’s board of directors has approved an increase in the company’s dividend rate from an annualized rate of 65 cents per share to 70 cents per share effective upon the closing of the transaction.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Lazard served as financial advisors, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Venable LLP served as legal advisors to the special committee of the board of directors of CCPT III. Morris, Manning & Martin LLP served as legal advisor to CCPT III. Moelis & Co. served as exclusive financial advisor and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP served as legal advisor to Cole Holdings.

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