Activist investor exploring purchase of LXP Industrial Trust

Jonathan LItt’s Land & Buildings Investment Management eyes $4.5B deal

National /
Feb.February 01, 2022 09:45 AM
Land & Buildings Investment Management's Jonathan Litt and LXP Industrial Trust's T. Wilson Eglin (Land & Buildings Investment Management, LXP Industrial Trust)

Land & Buildings Investment Management’s Jonathan Litt and LXP Industrial Trust’s T. Wilson Eglin (Land & Buildings Investment Management, LXP Industrial Trust)

Jonathan Litt has found his next target: industrial real estate.

The activist investor’s Land & Buildings Investment Management sent a letter to LXP Industrial Trust prior to the weekend, expressing the interest in acquiring the REIT. The letter puts a price on the potential acquisition at $16 per share. Bisnow reported the cost would value the transaction at about $4.5 billion.

The industrial specialist, formerly known as Lexington Realty Trust, owns about 56 million square feet of property across the country, according to Bisnow. Those properties are 99.2 percent leased.

Last month, Litt nominated himself and another person to LXP’s board of directors, according to Bisnow. Litt has been on the record criticizing T. Wilson Eglin, the firm’s chairman, president and CEO.

“Once [Monmouth] was done, we were looking for another place to buy industrial in the public markets, and we realized Lexington, which was this mixed bag of assets, had gotten to a sufficient critical mass of warehouse properties, and it looked to us to be materially undervalued,” Litt told Bisnow last month.

Litt’s hedge fund began betting against office REITs during the height of the pandemic. He’s known for taking REITs to task. Among the companies he has worked to overhaul are retail investor Taubman Centers, developer Forest City Realty Trust and hospitality giant MGM Resorts.

Activist investors typically buy into underperforming companies and try to shake up the corporate leadership, which can result in increased share prices.

Litt’s company was recently involved in the Monmouth Real Estate drama after taking a stake in the company. A bidding war for Monmouth unfolded last year, ultimately leading to a $4 billion sale to Industrial Logistics Properties Trust.

Industrial real estate has been one of the hottest sectors and investors have raced to acquire it. In Chicago, industrial rents surged 17.3 percent in the fourth quarter year-over-year to a record $5.90 per square foot.

[Bisnow] — Holden Walter-Warner





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