Starwood Property offers $14 per share to buy CreXus REIT
Starwood Property Trust (STWD), a commercial real estate investment trust, sent an offer to acquire another REIT Monday, CreXus Investment Corp. (CXS) for $14 per share. Under the terms of the proposal, Starwood would exchange 0.61 shares of its common stock for each share of the CreXus common stock outstanding. The offer would be a 20% premium over where the CreXus stock was trading Monday morning. Starwood CEO Barry Sternlicht said the deal would provide "substantially higher" dividends for shareholders of both companies. "We believe our offer, which is at a substantial premium to CreXus' current stock price and above virtually all of CreXus' trading prices since its initial public offering in September 2009, represents a compelling opportunity for CreXus' stockholders," Sternlicht said. CreXus recently acquired a portfolio of $739 million in loans from Barclays Capital. While the deal is still pending, Sternlicht was concerned that because roughly $419 million of the loans are set to mature at the end of 2011, the CreXus dividend could likely fall until new investments were made. Sternlicht said Starwood would be willing to complete the Barclays transaction after reviewing the portfolio. It would be less of an issue for his company, Sternlicht said, because of how well capitalized they were and their track history of originating new loans. "But, to be clear, the completion of the Barclay's transaction is not a condition to our offer for CreXus," Sternlicht said. "We look forward to entering into discussions with CreXus in order to complete this transaction as soon as possible." CreXus did not immediately reply to requests for comment. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.