Columbia Property Trust, a real estate investment trust listed on the New York Stock Exchange as CXP, agreed to buy private equity investor and developer Normandy Real Estate Management LLC in a $100 million cash and stock deal.
Over the past two decades, Normandy has built a highly respected record of acquiring, developing, redeveloping, repositioning and managing real estate assets as exceptional investments with attractive yields. Normandy has acquired or developed more than 30 million square feet of office space across New Jersey, New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., including dozens of major headquarters facilities for leading companies.
Normandy, based in Morristown, manages 14 million square feet of properties on behalf of its investors in the New York, Boston and D.C. areas.
Columbia and Normandy are co-developing 799 Broadway, a 182,000-square-foot, ground-up project near Union Square Park in Manhattan, and partnering on the redevelopment of 250 Church St. in TriBeCa.
Columbia’s portfolio is centered in New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, with smaller investments in Los Angeles, Boston and, until recently, Atlanta.
Founding Partners, Finn Wentworth and David Welsh, who launched Normandy in 2002, and Giorgios Vlamis, a Normandy Partner and the firm’s COO, will be forming a new investment firm, which will not be competitive to Columbia’s business and will be retaining Columbia to manage a portfolio of assets that will not be included in the transaction.
The new firm will retain ownership of a select asset portfolio not being acquired by Columbia, spanning commercial properties and mixed-use development sites, including markets such as Englewood Cliffs and Summit, Westchester NY and Newton MA. It will focus on both real estate and non-real estate investment opportunities.
Prior to co-founding Normandy, Wentworth was president, chief operating officer and board member of YankeeNets LLC, the holding company of the New York Yankees, New Jersey Nets and New Jersey Devils, where he also helped form the organization’s media company – The Yankee Entertainment Sports (YES) Network.
Welsh previously worked at Morgan Stanley in the Real Estate Private Equity Group.
Normandy’s first two funds, and a handful of suburban mixed-use developments are not part of the acquisition, Columbia said in a release.
“The strategic combination of Columbia and Normandy will form a stronger company with an exceptional gateway market portfolio, a world-class team and a robust pipeline,” Wentworth said in a release. “We have tremendous respect for Columbia’s strategy and leadership team, and, after launching two projects with them this past year, we’ve seen how well their culture and business model align with ours.”
The transaction is expected to close by year-end pending the completion of customary closing conditions.