Shareholders greenlight Brookfield’s $6.8B purchase of Forest City
Deal expected to close in December
After facing some opposition, Brookfield Asset Management will move forward with its $6.8 billion purchase of Forest City Realty Trust.
Forest City’s shareholders voted in favor of the deal on Thursday morning, the company announced. The vote clears the way for Brookfield to buy the real estate investment trust, a deal that is expected to close on or before Dec. 10.
The news follows failed efforts to stall the shareholder vote. Forest City’s former CEO Albert Ratner had filed a federal lawsuit on Monday, seeking to delay the proceeding until the company released a proxy statement with updated financial information. He called the Brookfield deal a “shameful value giveaway” that deprived shareholders of as much as $5.8 billion. But an Ohio judge on Wednesday refused to halt the vote. According to the company’s latest filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, votes representing nearly 183 million shares of common stock were cast in favor of the acquisition. Roughly 34 million shares were against the deal, while 838,747 abstained.
Forest City announced the deal in July, after rejecting an earlier bid from Brookfield. In March, the company announced that it would change its board instead of pursuing a sale. At the time, hedge funds Starboard Value and Scopia Capital Management were each granted additional seats on the board. Meanwhile, the Ratner family — which founded the company in 1920 — was limited to two members on the board, down from four. In his lawsuit, Albert Ratner questioned the timing of the board reorganization and Brookfield’s subsequent bid.