Cousins Properties Inc. of Atlanta and Orlando-based Parkway Properties Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement for a stock-to-stock merger. At the same time, their Houston-based assets will be spun off into HoustonCo, a new publicly traded REIT.
Upon closing, Cousins will operate as Sun Belt Urban Office REIT, which will continue its strategy of owning Class A office product in high-growth, urban sun belt markets. Meanwhile, Parkway Properties CEO Jim Heistand will oversee the new HoustonCo., which contains a Class A office portfolio in Houston. Upon completion of the spin-off, shareholders will own approximately 52% and 48%, respectively, of both REITs.
Closing is anticipated for 4Q 2016. Following the merger and spin-off, both companies intend to operate as UPREITs.
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