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Kimco Realty (NYSE: KIM), the owner and operator of open-air, grocery-anchored shopping centers and mixed-use assets, has announced its acquisition of rival company RPT Realty (NYSE: RPT) in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $2 billion.

Upon closing, Kimco expects to have a pro forma equity market capitalization of approximately $13 billion and a total enterprise value of approximately $22 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the beginning of 2024, subject to RPT shareholder and regulatory approval. The companies stated there were no anticipated changes to Kimco’s executive management team or board of directors as the result of the acquisition, although the future status of RPT’ leadership was not immediately addressed.

The transaction will add 56 open-air shopping centers, including 43 wholly owned and 13 joint venture assets, comprising 13.3 million square feet of gross leasable area, to Kimco’s existing portfolio of 528 properties. Kimco added that it would also a acquire RPT’s 6% stake in a 49-property net lease joint venture and divest itself of a limited group of Midwest properties within RPT’s portfolio that it viewed as not being consistent with its growth strategy.

“This transaction presents another exciting opportunity for our company to deepen our presence in key Coastal and Sun Belt markets, while accelerating our growth at an attractive valuation,” said Conor Flynn, CEO of Jericho, New York-based Kimco. “Approximately 70% of RPT’s portfolio aligns with our key strategic markets. Furthermore, their substantial pipeline of signed, but not yet open leases and 20% or greater mark-to-market leasing spread across the portfolio, will drive higher growth for the combined company.”

“After carefully considering the merits of this transaction, we believe that aligning with Kimco, a leader in the grocery-anchored shopping center space, is in the best interest of our stakeholders, given the multiple synergies that can be realized as a combined company,” said Brian Harper, president and CEO of New York City-based RPT. “We also believe this transaction delivers an attractive share price premium that offers our shareholders the opportunity to participate in a larger, more liquid and diversified company that is well positioned to deliver long-term value.”