Controversial Houston real estate developer has new owner after major merger

Houston’s Weingarten Realty Investors, which has made headlines of late with the River Oaks Theatre saga, has a new owner.

Kimco Realty Corp., one of the most prominent owners and operators of open-air, grocery-anchored shopping centers and mixed-use development in North America, has acquired Weingarten for $3.87 billion, according to a press release.

Weingarten shareholders will cash in on approximately $30.32 per share, an 11 premium, CNBC notes. Kimco will in turn own some 71 percent of the combined company’s equity.

This acquisition will create a company with 559 open-air grocery-anchored shopping centers. The deal is expected to close around the second half of 2021, per mutual agreements by both parties.

Major tenants will include Kroger, Whole Foods, and Walmart. Other retailers include Ross Stores and Burlington Stores.

Weingarten is a dominant, grocery-anchored shopping center owner, manager, and developer in the Sun Belt. The company most recently made headlines during a dramatic standoff with tenant Landmark Theatres and the beloved River Oaks Theatre. The two sides were unable to strike a deal and thus, as CultureMap was first to report, the landmark venue permanently shuttered.

“Combining these highly complementary platforms is a win-win for shareholders of both companies,” said Andrew “Drew” Alexander, CEO of Weingarten, in a release. ” We are excited to deliver this transaction to our shareholders, who will realize compelling and immediate value while also benefiting from the upside potential associated with owning the industry’s preeminent open-air shopping center and mixed-use REIT.”

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