Jun 9, 2016
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Kite Realty in bid to merge with WP Glimcher

Jun 9, 2016

Kite Realty Group Trust, a U.S. shopping center developer and landlord, has been in negotiations to merge with similarly sized peer WP Glimcher, according to people familiar with the matter.

WP Glimcher owns, manages and develops retail propertiesand mall whose tenants include Saks Off Fifth - facebook.com/saksoff5th

The combination of Kite and WP Glimcher, with respective market capitalizations of $2.3 billion and $2 billion, would give them more scale to resist pressure to lower rents, as the growing popularity of online retailers reduces mall profits.

The companies still have significant issues to resolve for any deal to materialize, and there is no certainty that any agreement will be reached, the people said this week, asking not to be identified because the matter is not public.

Kite and WP Glimcher declined to comment.

WP Glimcher shares ended up 8.2 percent at $11.39 on Wednesday, and Kite shares dropped 1.6 percent to $27.39.

Columbus, Ohio-based WP Glimcher owns, manages and develops retail properties, including regional malls and community centers. It has 118 shopping centers with tenants ranging from Saks OFF Fifth and JCPenney.

Kite, based in Indianapolis, has stakes in 121 shopping centers in 20 U.S. states.

WP Glimcher is the product of Washington Prime Group's $2 billion acquisition of Glimcher Realty Trust last year. Washington Prime was spun out of Simon Property Group in 2014.

Kite has a track record of buying other real estate companies to redevelop their portfolio. In 2014, Kite acquired Inland Diversified Real Estate Trust Inc for $1.2 billion.

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