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Prologis to buy warehouse rival Liberty in $12.6 billion deal

(Reuters) – Warehouse giant Prologis Inc (PLD.N) said on Sunday it had agreed to acquire rival industrial real-estate business Liberty Property Trust (LPT.N) in a $12.6 billion deal to improve its U.S. presence amid the ecommerce boom.

If approved, Liberty shareholders would receive 0.675 times a Prologis share for each unit they hold, Prologis said in a statement. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

Prologis, which has a global footprint, said the all-stock deal including the assumption of debt would deepen its presence in U.S. markets such as Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, Chicago, Houston, New Jersey and Southern California.

“Liberty’s logistics assets are highly complementary to our U.S. portfolio and this acquisition increases our holdings and growth potential in several key markets,” Prologis Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hamid Moghadam said.

“The joining of these two platforms at this moment, when industrial logistics has become so pivotal to the new economy, will further the industry’s ability to support the nation’s supply chain,” Liberty Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Hankowsky said.

Prologis plans to sell about $3.5 billion worth of assets, including $2.8 billion of “non-strategic” logistics properties and $700 million of office properties, the announcement said.

The transaction is anticipated to immediately save around $120 million from administrative costs, operating leverage, lower interest expense and lease adjustments, the companies said.

Prologis customers, according to its website, include Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) , Walmart Inc (WMT.N) and FedEx Corp (FDX.N).

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