The Blackstone Group finally completed the aquisition of Sam Zell’s Equity Office Properties Trust for a 23 Billion dollar buyout and assumption of 16 billion more in debt. They were locked in a bidding war with Vornado Trust and finally came out on top in a brutal fight for the company. Many experts are wondering whether Blackstone chased this deal to high as the price, but famous investor Sam Zell is laughing all the way to the bank.
Blackstone’s final offer of $55.50 per share was a 15 percent increase from its first bid in November, when the private equity firm offered $20 billion, or $48.50 per share. As a result of the bid entered Tuesday, Blackstone will become a landlord overseeing one of the nation’s most impressive commercial real estate portfolios, including WorldWide Plaza in Manhattan, the Civic Opera building in Chicago and Columbia Center, Seattle’s tallest tower.
“We are pleased to have secured what we believe is a compelling investment for Blackstone investors, and gratified by the overwhelming support of EOP shareholders,” said spokesman John Ford.
Vornado, which sweetened its bid three times and ultimately offered $23.2 billion in cash and stock, bowed out hours before Equity Office shareholders overwhelmingly approved the Blackstone bid. The Paramus, N.J.-based real estate investment trust said the premium it would have to pay to top Blackstone’s offer wouldn’t be in the best interest of its shareholders.
Blackstone’s acquisition, which it valued at $39 billion including assumed debt, is scheduled to close Friday. Research firm Dealogic says that figure would make it the largest private equity buyout in history when debt is included in the valuation. via Whittier Daily News
Update: So what is Sam Zell looking to do with this windfall? Maybe buy The Tribune Company