Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc. (MAA) has inked a nearly $2.2 billion deal to purchase Colonial Properties Trust. The Memphis-based apartment owner is looking to grow its portfolio as demand continues to climb for U.S. rental apartments. The deal would do just that, creating a REIT with approximately 85,000 rental units focused on the U.S. south. Reis Inc. reports that the country's apartment-vacancy rate was 4.3 percent as of March 31, the lowest in over a decade. MAA Chief Executive H. Eric Bolton Jr. comments, "The scale of the combined company will support accelerated growth. [The merger will] drive higher margins as a result of synergies and advantages generated." MAA shareholders will own roughly 56 percent of the combined company's equity, with Colonial owners holding the remainder.
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