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Veris Residential Retreats From Stock Offering, Nixes Acquisition

Luxury multifamily developer Veris Residential has axed a stock offering that was meant to fund the acquisition of a 348-unit residential property. 

55 Riverwalk Place, which Veris Residential planned to acquire with the net proceeds of the offering

The company, formerly known as Mack-Cali Realty Corp., announced Monday that it commenced an underwritten public offering of 10.5 million shares of its common stock. But one day later, the REIT said it has withdrawn that proposed offering. 

Veris planned to use the proceeds from the offering to fund its pending purchase of 55 Riverwalk Place in New Jersey. That purchase has been terminated, the company said Tuesday.

At the time of the first announcement, the company said that it had a plan B if the 55 Riverwalk Place deal fell through, which included repaying the approximately $157M in mortgage debt tied to its 377-unit Soho Lofts development in Jersey City, New Jersey.

“We seek to continue executing our three-pronged approach to value creation encompassing capital allocation and further optimization of our platform, portfolio and balance sheet,” Veris CEO Mahbod Nia said in a statement.

In 2021, Mack-Cali pivoted away from the suburban office market, changing its name to Veris and its New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol to VRE.

The shift also came with a C-suite shakeup, with then-CEO Michael DeMarco and other senior executives leaving the company. The next year, DeMarco sued the company, according to court records. 

In the suit, DeMarco alleges that the changes were the result of a “two-year-long proxy battle that saw activist investors led by hedge fund Bow Street LLC win control over the Company’s Board of Directors.” In the lawsuit, DeMarco claims that Veris breached his employment agreement. The lawsuit has since been settled.

In 2022, Kushner Cos. attempted to acquire Veris for an initial offer of $16 per share, valuing the REIT at roughly $4.3B, including debt. However, after negotiations that raised the offer to $18.50 per share, Kushner accused the board of Veris of operating without transparency and misleading the public

It withdrew its acquisition offer last January, and in August publicly praised Veris' management for its efforts to transition its portfolio.