W.P. Carey completes acquisition of affiliated nontraded REIT

Deal for Corporate Property Associates 16 Global is industry's latest liquidity event

By Bruce Kelly

Feb 3, 2014 @ 2:05 pm (Updated 3:20 pm) EST

It's liquidity, liquidity everywhere for investors holding nontraded real estate investment trusts as publicly traded W.P. Carey Inc. said Monday it had completed its acquisition of an affiliated nontraded REIT, Corporate Property Associates 16 Global Inc.

Launched in 2003 and sold by representatives with independent broker-dealers at $10 per share, CPA 16 investors will receive 0.183 shares of W.P. Carey common stock, which was valued $61.48 per share when the deal was first announced in July. That valued CPA 16, which has $3.3 billion in assets, at $11.25 per share at the time. CPA 16's most recently published net asset value per share was $8.70, according to the REIT's quarterly report from November.

The acquisition was completed on Friday.

Nontraded REITs were roundly criticized after the credit crisis for high fees, lack of transparency and low liquidity that locks up investors for lengthy time periods. Some large REITs struggled and saw their valuations and distributions diminish.

The pace of nontraded REITs listing on exchanges or merging with other publicly traded companies has picked up over the last two years. Last week, Inland American Real Estate Trust Inc., the largest nontraded REIT with $9.5 billion in assets, said it had suspended its current share repurchase program, signaling it may soon be in line for a merger or listing of its shares.

Last year, six nontraded REITs announced or transacted “liquidity events.”

Shares of W.P Carey, a global net-lease REIT with an enterprise value of $9.6 billion, were down 45 cents in trading Monday at $58.63 per share.