Regency Centers to Purchase Equity One in $5 Billion Shopping Center REIT Merger

by Katie Sloan

Jacksonville, Fla. — Jacksonville-based Regency Centers Corp. (NYSE: REG) has agreed to acquire Equity One Inc. (NYSE: EQY), creating one of the largest shopping center REITs in the U.S.

The all-stock merger will convert each share of Equity One stock into 0.45 shares of Regency stock. Based on Regency’s closing stock price on Monday, Nov. 14, that equates to $31.44 per share, for a total acquisition price of nearly $5 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.

At the close of the deal, Regency shareholders are expected to own approximately 62 percent of the combined company’s equity, and former Equity One shareholders are expected to own approximately 38 percent. The company will retain the Regency name and will continue to trade under the ticker symbol REG. The headquarters will also remain in Jacksonville.

The combined company is expected to have a total market capitalization of $15.6 billion, making it the largest REIT by equity value in the shopping center index. The merger will create a national portfolio of 429 properties encompassing more than 57 million square feet.

Regency’s Board of Directors will be increased from nine to 12 members, including two directors designated by Equity One and one director designated by Gazit-Globe, which owns 34 percent of Equity One. Martin Stein Jr., CEO and chairman of Regency Centers, will hold those same titles with the combined company.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is acting as financial advisor on the merger, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is acting as legal advisor to Regency.

Barclays is acting as lead financial advisor, Citigroup Global Markets Inc. is acting as co-financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal advisor to Equity One. ICR LLC served as communications advisor for the transaction. Both parties expect the merger to close in early 2017.

Regency Centers Corp. is an owner, operator and developer of grocery-anchored neighborhood and community centers, with a portfolio of 307 retail properties located throughout the U.S. The company’s stock price closed on Monday, Nov. 14 at $69.86 per share, up from $65.43 one year ago.

North Miami Beach, Florida-based Equity One Inc. owns and operates a portfolio of 122 properties, totaling approximately 12.3 million square feet nationwide. The company’s stock price closed on Monday, Nov. 14 at $27.87 per share, up from $26.06 one year ago.

—   Katie Sloan 

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