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Forest City In Talks With Brookfield Asset Management Once Again Regarding A Sale

Forest City Realty Trust might be for sale after all. Three months ago, the REIT said it had decided not to sell itself after considering the possibility for about six months, but now Forest City has reportedly restarted talks with Brookfield Asset Management about a deal. 

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The price under discussion is in the range of $25 to $25.50/share, Bloomberg reports, citing anonymous sources. That is about the same price target as when talks ended inconclusively in March.

Cleveland-based Forest City originally put itself in play back in September, when it said it is considering a potential merger or acquisition. One reason for the move was pressure from activist investors such as Jonathan Litt, who wrote to shareholders in the spring encouraging Forest City to put itself up for sale.

For a time, Equity Commonwealth was considered a suitor for Forest City, but that didn't pan out.

In March, the company released a statement that said that after a "review and analysis of multiple offers, the board has determined that stockholder value would be better enhanced on a standalone basis..." 

The REIT did not name any particular suitors at that time, but did say that 18 interested parties have signed confidentiality agreements and received confidential information about the company.

The REIT has also been selling some of its assets recently, notably most of its 30% stake in its Downtown Brooklyn megaproject, Pacific Park, to its joint venture partner, Chinese firm Greenland Holdings. The company sold its ownership interest last fall in 10 regional malls nationwide to QIC.

Early this year, MaryAnne Gilmartin left her post as Forest City New York CEO to join Robert Lapidus and David Levinson of L&L Holding Co. to form L&L MAG, a new development firm.

Shares of Forest City jumped by more than 14% by the end of the trading day on Monday after word of the potential deal broke. Even so, its shares are down about 5% so far in 2018.