The Wall Street Journal's Anne Steele reports on MAA's $3.88 billion merger with Post Properties, another prolific Sunbelt owner, in an all-stock deal.

The merger may create the nation's largest multifamily REIT, with around 105,000 units owned across 317 communities. MAA will own about 67.7% of the combined company, with Post shareholders owning the remainder. Last year, MAA was ranked as the nation's ninth-largest owner by the NMHC.

The new group would have deep exposure to the fast-growing Sunbelt region, in markets including Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Washington, DC. The companies estimate cost savings of about $20 million.

If the deal is abandoned, Post could be required to pay to MAA a termination fee of $117 million, and MAA could be required to pay to Post a termination fee of $245 million and reimburse MAA’s transaction expenses up to $10 million, according to a securities filing.

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