NY REIT reportedly in merger talks with JBG Cos.

NYRT shares halted trading Monday after news broke of discussions

From left: JBG managing partner Brian Coulter and NYRT CEO Michael Happel
From left: JBG managing partner Brian Coulter and NYRT CEO Michael Happel

City-focused real estate investment trust New York REIT is reportedly in talks to merge with Maryland-based real estate firm the JBG Companies.

While there is “no certainty” that the discussions will result in a deal with JBG, according to Reuters, a merger would offer a lifeline to the struggling New York REIT and provide the latest instance of a privately held real estate player buying out a publicly traded REIT.

New York REIT shares halted trading on the New York Stock Exchange Monday afternoon after news broke of the JBG talks, according to CNBC. The company’s stock subsequently resumed trading and was up more than 4 percent, to $10.27 per share, as of 3:30 p.m. Monday.

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In October, New York REIT hired Eastdil Secured to advise on “potential strategic transactions” including a possible entity-level sale of the company, which is led by CEO Michael Happel and sponsored by Nicholas Schorsch’s AR Global.

New York REIT was reportedly close to being acquired by SL Green Realty, though the city’s largest office landlord subsequently distanced itself from talks of a deal.

New York REIT announced in February that it would not host a conference call for investors and analysts in wake of its year-end earnings report, citing the continuing “strategic review process.”

The JBG Companies owns office, residential, retail and hotel properties predominantly in and around the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. [Reuters] – Rey Mashayekhi