Blackstone Group to buy CarrAmerica Realty for $5.6 billion |

Blackstone Group to buy CarrAmerica Realty for $5.6 billion

NEW YORK – Private-equity firm Blackstone Group has agreed to acquire office-property company CarrAmerica Realty Corp. for about $5.6 billion.Shares of CarrAmerica rose $3.45, or 8.4 percent, to close at $44.53 on the New York Stock Exchange.The deal values CarrAmerica shares at $44.75 each in cash, an 18.4 percent premium on the stock’s close on Feb. 16, just prior to published reports about a potential acquisition, Washington, D.C.-based CarrAmerica said.The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter.The acquisition “will provide us with a valuable platform for future investments in the office sector,” said Jonathan Gray, senior managing director of Chicago-based Blackstone Group.CarrAmerica owns, develops and operates office properties in 12 U.S. markets. The company and its affiliates own, directly or through joint ventures, interests in 285 operating office properties, totaling about 26.3 million square feet.CarrAmerica has been the focus of much takeover talk since June. Recently, rival Cranford, N.J.-based Mack-Cali Realty Corp. has been snapping up shares of CarrAmerica.Last month, Blackstone agreed to acquire MeriStar Hospitality Corp. for $940 million, plus debt.In the past two years, Blackstone has paid a total of $8 billion for six publicly traded hotel companies. When debt is included, the number is more than $13 billion.

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