Shares of Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS) jumped $2.81 Monday (Nov. 20), fueled by the $36 billion dollar purchase – $17 billion in assumed debt – of sister company Equity Office Properties Inc. by the Blackstone Group.
The Equity Office deal was brokered by Chairman Sam Zell, a famed Chicago investor. He remains chairman of three other publicly traded real estate companies, Equity Office Residential, the nation’s largest apartment REIT; Capital Trust, which specializes in real estate finance; and ELS, an REIT which owns or has an interest in 294 RV, park model and manufactured housing properties in 30 states and British Columbia.
The Blackstone Group is a private investment firm whose trophy properties include WorldWide Plaza in Manhattan, the Civic Opera building in Chicago and Columbia Center, Seattle’s tallest tower.
The Equity Office deal, which is subject to approval by shareholders, would be the costliest buyout in history, not only for a real estate investment trust but for any company.