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2 REITs Exploring Strategic Alternatives, Including Sale, Merger


A pair of real estate investment trusts that experienced losses last quarter have revealed in recent weeks they are launching strategic review processes that could lead to merger and acquisition activity. 

San Diego-based Presidio Property Trust announced Wednesday that it is looking into strategic alternatives for the business, including a sale or merger, and it has hired an independent special committee to explore its options. 

It comes a few days after another publicly traded REIT, Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Artis Real Estate Investment Trust, announced it retained financial advisory firm BMO Capital Markets to aid with its own strategic review process, which it initiated last month with the launch of a special committee. 

Both companies own diversified commercial real estate portfolios that include office, retail, residential and industrial properties. 

Presidio has $179M in total assets, according to its second-quarter filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Artis has 3.98B Canadian dollars ($2.94B) in total assets, it said in its Q2 filing. Both companies experienced losses last quarter: $205K and C$115M ($85M), respectively. 

Artis said in its August release it thinks its stock price is trading at a “material discount to its intrinsic value,” and it aims to address that issue with the special committee. 

“Our current market unit price grossly undervalues Artis's units,” the release says. 

On average, REITs were trading at a 19.5% discount to their consensus net asset value per share as of the end of August, jumping from a 15.9% discount the month prior, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. In recent years, the persistence of REITs trading at discounts to their net asset values has led to a series of acquisitions in which publicly traded firms are taken private by investment giants like Blackstone and KKR.