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Greystar Buys Alliance Residential's Property Management Arm For $200M

Greystar CEO Bob Faith with his dog, Koda

Greystar Real Estate Partners is expanding its apartment management business by buying the country's fourth-largest multifamily operator.

South Carolina-based Greystar secured a deal to buy Alliance Residential Co.'s apartment management business for nearly $200M in an all-cash deal, adding 130,000 housing units across 21 states to its portfolio, the Wall Street Journal reports. The acquisition will boost Greystar's management portfolio to 660,000 units.

The combined portfolio will increase Greystar's footprint by 25% to reach 42 states and 13 countries with more than 2,400 apartment communities, including bolstering Greystar's presence in key western markets like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver and Las Vegas, company officials said in a release.

Phoenix-based Alliance will continue to develop and invest in multifamily and senior housing properties.

While talks between Greystar CEO Bob Faith and Alliance Chairman Bruce Ward started in February as the coronavirus spread in Southeast Asia and Europe, the parties continued to negotiate and sealed the deal in late May, according to the WSJ. Greystar and Alliance largely manage higher-end apartments, and take the view that rents will remain strong over time, despite the record spike in national unemployment as a result of widespread shelter-in-place orders, Faith said.

“Even during severe economic downturns, we believe in the resilience of rental housing and we are committed to continuing to grow our company," Faith said in a release. "This acquisition reflects our confidence in that and is a unique opportunity to acquire a strong business."

Despite the economic fallout of the pandemic, national median apartment rents have remained relatively flat in May and June, according to a recent Abodo report.

Faith told the WSJ that the firm was in “a pretty good spot” with its renters still able to make their monthly payments. Given the Greystar and Alliance portfolio is on the higher end of market rents, tenants have been more able to pay. Greystar collected 95% of its April and May rents, down from the typical 99% collection before the pandemic, Faith told the WSJ.

“It means that folks are either making good income or have good savings,” Faith said.

CORRECTION, JUNE 3, 2:30 P.M. ET: A previous headline on this story mistakenly called the acquisition of Alliance Residential's property management arm a merger. This story has been updated.