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Cousins Properties  (CUZ) - Get Cousins Properties Incorporated Report and Tier REIT (TIER) - Get TIER REIT Inc Report announced plans to merge Monday in a $1.5 billion all-stock deal to create a company with a market cap of at least $6 billion.

Unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, the deal will see Cousins issue 2.98 new common shares in exchange for each share of Tier REIT stock.

The combined company will operate 21 million square feet of office space in the southeastern and southwestern United States. Annual net savings of $18.5 million are anticipated.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. Cousins shareholders will own about 72% of the combined company, and Tier shareholders will own the rest. 

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The combination is "an unmatched portfolio of trophy office properties in the premier submarkets of Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, Phoenix and Tampa," Cousins CEO Colin Connolly said in a statement.

Cousins was trading at $9.31, off 5.72% but toward the high end of its 52-week range of $7.53 to $10.10. According to FactSet, the four-analyst consensus price target is $10.35 with an average rating of overweight.

Tier REIT was up 7.08% at $27.28 Monday afternoon.

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