HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Weingarten Realty Investors, a shopping center developer that started as a branch of the old Weingarten’s Houston grocery chain, is being acquired by Kimco Realty of New York.
Kimco Realty will pay $3.9 billion in cash and stock for Weingarten Realty, which owns 159 properties (over 30 million SF) in 15 states.
Both companies are specialists in open-air grocery-anchored shopping centers. During the pandemic, grocery-anchored centers outperformed old-school regional malls that depended on apparel and dinosaur department stores.
When Kimco and Weingarten are combined, the company will have a portfolio of 559 open-air grocery-anchored shopping centers and mixed-use assets comprising approximately 100 million SF.
“After examining the deal from every angle, it became increasingly clear that the potential of the integrated business is much greater than the sum of its parts,” said Drew Alexander, Chairman and CEO of Weingarten. “The combined company’s increased size and scale, together with its financial strength, should drive an advantageous cost of capital, allowing the combined company to more readily pursue value creation opportunities. We are excited to deliver this transaction to our shareholders, who will realize compelling and immediate value while also benefiting from the upside potential associated with owning the industry’s preeminent open-air shopping center and mixed-use REIT.”
Alexander, 64, joined the Houston-based company in 1978. He has served as trustee for National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) and Chairman of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), in addition to local charity leadership.
After the merger, the Kimco management team will lead the combined company, with Conor Flynn as Chief Executive Officer. Upon completion of the merger, the company’s headquarters will remain in Jericho, N.Y. The company will retain the Kimco name and will continue to trade under the ticker symbol KIM (NYSE).
Weingarten owns more than a dozen centers in the Houston area including the River Oaks Shopping Center on W Gray street, the former Randall’s center in Bellaire, and the Trader Joe’s center on Shepherd Drive.
Stanford Alexander, 92, chairman emeritus of Weingarten Realty Investors, was key force in growing Weingarten years ago.
Traded on the NYSE, shares of Weingarten Realty closed at $30.90, Thursday, up $3.56 orr 12.5 percent.
April 15, 2021 Realty News Report Copyright 2021
File: Kimco Buying Weingarten Realty for $3.9 Billion
Photo credit: Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report Copyright 2021
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