Front page of the Nikkei today boldly announced the FIRST JREIT MERGER (online version highly abridged) to be Itochu sponsored Advance Residential (8978) merging with Pacific Holdings sponsored Nippon Residential (8962) by 3rd party allocation of new shares to Itochu Corp to create the 4th largest JREIT and by far largest residential with about JPY 390B in assets, and Itochu Corp also buying out the REIT management company Pacific Management . Bloomberg here Reuters here
Both REITs issued notices that the media had jumped the gun, nothing has been formalized and there would be official release made when information on any decision is to be made public (Nippon Resi notice here), (Advance Resi notice here). Itochu Corp made no announcement nor notice regarding the matter.
Clearly the market is excited about concrete progression into JREIT M&A territory as it has been a LONG time coming. Nippon Residential has stated earlier it is on schedule for making a decision by the end of this month so we should have a decision next week, albeit it will likely take a few more months for the transaction to be executed.
The other bidders mentioned in the Nikkei article and good to watch in the coming REIT industry M&A drama are: Mitsubishi Estate (8802), Nomura Real Estate (subsidiary of Nomura RE Holdings 3213) and Mitsui & Co (8031)