MEMPHIS, Tenn. and BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- MAA(NYSE: MAA) and Colonial Properties Trust (NYSE: CLP) today announced the completion of the merger of the two companies, forming a combined company with equity market capitalization of approximately $4.9 billion and a total market capitalization of approximately $8.3 billion. The transaction was previously approved by both companies' shareholders at their respective meetings held on September 27, 2013. The combined company, headquartered in Memphis, TN, will retain the MAA name and will trade under the existing ticker symbol "MAA" on the New York Stock Exchange. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110614/CL19184LOGO) "We are excited to have the merger transaction closed and now turn our focus on fully maximizing the opportunities surrounding this combination," said H. Eric Bolton, Jr., MAA CEO. "A number of integration steps have been completed and we are well underway with the remaining tasks to establish a fully united and consolidated company. We have assembled a team of professionals from both MAA and Colonial Properties Trust that are the best in the industry and who are driven to deliver superior service to our residents, grow value for our shareholders and expand opportunities for our associates. I thank them for their dedication, hard work and support. We look forward to building on the long-term successful track record of MAA." Leadership and OrganizationThomas H. Lowder, former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Colonial Properties Trust, James K. Lowder, Claude B. Nielsen, Harold W. Ripps and John W. Spiegel, all former Trustees of Colonial Properties Trust, have joined MAA's Board of Directors. Alan B. Graf, Jr. and Ralph Horn, Co-Lead Independent Directors for MAA, will serve as Co-Lead Independent Directors for the combined company. H. Eric Bolton, Jr., MAA's CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors, will serve as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the combined company. Albert M. Campbell, III, MAA's CFO, will serve as CFO of the combined company, and Thomas L. Grimes, Jr., MAA's COO, will serve as COO of the combined company. Donald G. Aldridge will serve as Director of Acquisitions and Dispositions for the combined company. Edward T. Wright, former Executive Vice President of Multifamily Development for Colonial Properties Trust, will serve as Executive Vice President of Development and Capital Projects for the combined company and Robert J. DelPriore, formerly of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, will serve as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the combined company. Anticipated Synergies and Financial Reporting Annual gross G&A savings are estimated to be approximately $25 million. The combined company is expected to benefit from the elimination of duplicative costs, including those associated with supporting a public company platform; the leveraging of state of the art technology and systems; and the combination of corporate support. These savings are expected to be realized upon full integration, which is expected to occur over the 18-month period following the closing. The company also anticipates savings from efficiencies produced by the combined footprint and increased scale of the apartment portfolio, as well as improved cost of capital and greater financial flexibility. Due to the timing of the closing of the merger on October 1, 2013, the financial reporting from the combined company for the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2013 will consist only of MAA results and will not include Colonial Properties Trusts' results for the periods prior to the closing of the merger. MAA does expect to provide fourth quarter guidance when it reports third quarter results. Transaction and Dividend Declaration As a result of the merger, each former Colonial Properties Trust common share has been converted into 0.36 of a newly issued MAA common share. Former Colonial Properties Trust shareholders hold approximately 44 percent of the combined company's equity, with continuing MAA shareholders holding approximately 56 percent of the combined company. Effective with the close of the market today, Colonial Properties Trust common shares will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.