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Valuation effects of REIT mergers and the role of diversification

John C. Alexander and Thomas M. Springer

Managerial Finance, 2018, vol. 44, issue 4, 424-438

Abstract: Purpose - Merging two real estate investment trusts (REITs) consolidates two real estate portfolios. The purpose of this paper is to provide further evidence on the market’s valuation of property type and geographic diversification of REITs by looking at the diversification impact of mergers involving domestic REITs in the Modern REIT era (post 1992). Design/methodology/approach - The authors classify equity REIT mergers according to whether they maintain portfolio focus or alter their focus with respect to the geography and property type distribution of the underlying real estate. Then, using a domestic REIT index, the authors examine abnormal returns around the merger announcement to ascertain how portfolio changes affect value. Findings - Although the results show no abnormal returns to the combined REIT for the 126 mergers in the sample, mergers that maintain geographic focus and alter the property focus contribute positively to the abnormal returns. Acquiring REITs show negative abnormal returns for mergers that either diversify geography or maintain property focus. Target REITs earn positive abnormal returns no matter the diversification impact of the merger. Research limitations/implications - The results suggest that changes to the composition of the REIT’s property portfolio have valuation implications. The results suggest that during the modern REIT Era, property diversification created positive wealth effects for the acquirer. Originality/value - This research adds to the evidence on how REIT investors value changes in the diversification of the underlying properties, and implies that the investor perception of portfolio effects from mergers may vary over time as the REIT industry expands and consolidates.

Keywords: Diversification; Mergers; REITs; Market reaction (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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