Logistics Properties Trust, a REIT that owns warehouse distribution
and e-commerce fulfillment facilities throughout the US, had intricate ownership structures — GOV was SIR’s largest shareholder
and SIR was the controlling shareholder of ILPT.
Citigroup Global Markets acted as financial advisor to a special
committee of GOV’s Board and Sullivan & Worcester acted as legal
advisor to GOV in the transaction. UBS Investment Bank was the
financial advisor to a special committee of SIR’s Board of Trustees.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom was legal advisor to SIR in
While 2018’s landscape may seem to have been dominated by
REIT M&As, there were also plenty of deals that were private sector
plays. At the end of the year, Oxford Properties Group and Ivanhoe
Cambridge, as one example, acquired IDI Realty, a privately held
REIT formerly owned by Brookfield Asset Management, for $3.6
billion. This deal brought on board some 180 industrial real estate
assets in 15 states, as well as the company’s management and development platform. The acquisition was Oxford’s first logistics acquisition in the US.
The DLA Piper team that worked the transaction included John
Sullivan, Cara Nelson, Primo Fontana, Oriana Robin Montani,
Luke Belton Maddox, Bob LeDuc, Allan Bowen, Chris Giordano,
Jon Venick, Janessa Griffin and Penny Minna.
Many of 2018’s transactions were in cash, but some did close as
all-stock transactions. The merger of Colony NorthStar Credit
Real Estate, a publicly traded finance REIT created from the
merger of two non-traded entities, is one example. The deal consisted of the merger of NorthStar Real Estate Income Trust
(NorthStar I) and NorthStar Real Estate Income II (NorthStar
II), which also entailed the contribution of $1.6 billion of assets
and liabilities from Colony Northstar.
The transaction resulted in a commercial real estate credit REIT
with approximately $5.1 billion in assets under management and
$3.3 billion, or approximately $25 per share, of book value. It
became the second largest publicly listed commercial mortgage
REIT after Starwood Property Trust. For the NYSE listing, J.P.
Morgan and Barclays acted as CLNC’s advisors. Hogan Lovells US
acted as the company’s counsel and Clifford Chance US LLP acted
as the listing advisors’ counsel.
Real estate brokerages also were active in M&As last year. One
example was The Shopping Center Group’s $2 billion acquisition
of Hart Realty Advisors, a significant transaction in which the larg-
est, privately owned retail real estate advisory firm in the US
scooped up one of the top, privately owned real estate investment
management firms to expand its real estate advisory services. Hart
Realty Advisers included David Hart and David Huntley. The invest-
ment banker for the deal was June Munshi, partner, CenterCap
Group LLC and SCG’s legal counsel was Chason Harrison, partner,
Another deal of note was Madison Marquette and PMRG’s
merger. The combined companies have a total of approximately
$7.5 billion assets under management and 600 employees.
Colliers International took a 75% stake in Harrison Street Real
Estate Capital for a total of $550 million. Marcus & Millichap
acquired Pinnacle Financial Group, a mortgage brokerage and
servicing firm in Cleveland. CBRE continued its flurry of acquisi-
tions with two strategic investments: Noveen Consulting and CB
Richard Ellis-N.E. Partners, a long-standing New England joint
venture with Whittier Partners Group and the largest full-service
commercial real estate services operation in New England.
Fresh off of closing its IPO in 2017, Newmark Knight Frank con-
tinued its growth plan in 2018 with the acquisition of Integra Realty
Resources, Jackson Cooksey and RKF Retail Holdings. Cushman &
Wakefield acquired Integrity Consulting Group last year, but its big-
gest play for 2018 was its IPO, which raised $765 million.
Moving over to non-entity-level deals, the Northeast markets
were among the most active regions for CRE transactions in 2018.
Investment activity alone exceeded $10 billion, as per RCA data,
and the region—the Big Apple in particular—is the home of a
number of new developments. The financing activity behind those
deals kept origination volumes high, and tenants shook up the
field with countless new lease announcements, be they relocations,
expansions or new commitments.
The end of the
year brought a flurry
of activity in Boston.
Its biggest lease in
years and its top two
property trades all
closed in December.
Sanofi chose the
quarters when it
signed on to anchor
a 45-acre mixed-use
under way in East
900,000-sf lease will
bring together some
2,700 employees cur-
into two buildings at
being developed by
In Boston’s urban
core, the landmark