HOUSTON – Regency Centers Corp. hasn’t given up on a proposed merger with AmREIT of Houston.
The two firms are shopping center REITs and AmREIT has significant realty holdings in the Uptown area of Houston.
Last month, Regency made a bid to acquire Houston-based AmReit for $22 per share or $433 million. But AmREIT rejected Regency’s bid.
However in a conference call with investors last week Hap Stein, CEO and chairman of Regency, said he wanted to “reaffirm” Regency’s intent to “pursue a combination of our two companies.”
Stein said AmREIT’s opportunity to redevelop projects, such as the Uptown Park center in Houston to a billion-dollar development, was inviting.
“We were please when AmREIT confirmed it will commence a process to explore strategic alternatives. We look forward to participating and receiving adequate information to make this compelling combination a reality,” Stein said.
AmREIT announced on July 29, that its board voted to explore “strategic alternatives to enhance stockholder value.” The company also took steps through the Maryland Business Combination Act to make a takeover attempt more difficult.
In July, Stein told Nancy Sarnoff of the Houston Chronicle that is possible that Regency would increase its offer to buy AmREIT’s stock for more than $22 per share.
“If they would provide us with additional information…that would determine if we would increase the offer,” Stein told the Chronicle.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based Regency owns 11 centers in Houston. Regency’s portfolio includes 328 shopping centers with 43.8 million square feet.
AmREIT has several projects proposed or under development in Houston, including:
- A proposed 40-story a 40-story, 356-unit residential tower with two stories of retail with respect to 1.58 acres at the northwest corner of Post Oak and San Felipe, known as The Courtyard at Post Oak. Construction of the $142 million project would begin within the next year.
- A proposed four-star hotel development with condo units at at the southeast corner of Uptown Park, located at the corner of Loop 610 and Post Oak Blvd. The anticipated development could include 243 hotel rooms, 234 residential units and up to 20,000 square feet of ground floor retail. Total project costs are estimated to be $204 million. Construction could begin within the next 18 months.
- AmREIT has entered into a letter of intent with Trammell Crow to form a Limited Liability Company to purchase the entire Inverness Townhome site in Uptown Houston and to form a venture for a $225 million development 560,000 square feet of office space and 16,000 square feet of retail space. The site is 2.9 acres and is located at the northwest corner of Post Oak Blvd and Uptown Park Blvd.