General Growth Properties
agreed to acquire fellow real estate investment trust
for $7.2 billion, or $67.50 a share. The buyer will also assume about $5.4 billion in debt.
The companies are both major owners of mall space. General Growth is based in Chicago, while Rouse's headquarters are in Columbia, Md.
Rouse shares closed Thursday at $50.61, down 44 cents, or 0.9%. In premarket Instinet trading Friday, the stock surged $15.89, or 31.4%, to $66.50. General Growth closed at $31.54 Thursday.
"In the past, I have explained why our principal focus is to acquire, develop and manage regional shopping centers. We want to continue to build and enhance our existing national platform," said John Bucksbaum, chief executive of General Growth. "In addition, I have always stressed that we strive to acquire centers that will continue to improve and be strong three, five and 10 years from now. The Rouse Company offers all of this, and more."