In a Nov. 25 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Veris described a $16-per-share offer from the parties as “grossly” undervaluing the company and denying shareholders long-term value expected from the REIT’s transformation to a pure-play multifamily-focused entity.
“Thank you for sharing a copy of a letter from Fortress Investment Group, which indicates its willingness to finance Kushner Cos.’ unsolicited offer to acquire Veris Residential for $16.00 per share,” the Veris board wrote to Kushner Cos. Chairman Charles Kushner via email Nov. 25. “It was surprising, however, that this letter reiterated your initial proposal to purchase Veris Residential’s outstanding shares at a price rejected by the board in a public statement issued earlier this month.”
The correspondence with Fortress as participant follows previous exchanges regarding Kushner Cos.’ pursuit of Veris, in which the target had called into question the putative buyer’s readiness for such a purchase, valued at $4.3 billion.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the commitment from Fortress Investment Group.
In the latest rejection, the Veris board again cited consultations with its financial advisors and legal counsel, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and J.P. Morgan serving as the former and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP as the latter, as supporting its position that the company is worth more than Kushner Cos. is offering.
Veris Residential (VRE) – the former Mack-Cali Realty Corp. – closed trading on the New York Stock Exchange at $16.05 Nov. 30.
In its filing, the company reiterated that it “remains open to evaluating any proposals to maximize value for all shareholders.”
As of the third quarter of 2022, Jersey City-based Veris Residential’s multifamily portfolio included 6,931 units with an occupancy of 95.8%.
Veris Residential declined to comment beyond its SEC filing. Kushner Cos. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.