Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of CapLease (UNKNOWN:LSE.DL), a REIT focused on investing in commercial real estate that is net-leased, soared as much as 23% after agreeing to be acquired by American Realty Capital (NYSE:VER) for $2.2 billion.
So what: The deal, which values CapLease at $8.50 a share, follows American Realty's unsuccessful attempt to purchase Cole Credit Property Trust earlier this year and would now make it the third largest company in the net-lease sector. According to American Realty, it expects the deal will add an additional $0.11 per year in funds from operations and plans to boost its dividend by $0.03 to an annualized rate of $0.94 once the deal closes.
Now what: On paper this looks like a great deal for both parties given that the ongoing low interest rate environment is only going to fuel investor interest in these high yielders, and the fact that net-leased properties (those which require the renter to pay additional expenses beyond rent) cost little to maintain. On the flipside, though, I have to admit I'm a bit worried about American Realty taking on $1.2 billion of CapLease's debt. Overall, this could be a net positive for shareholders in both companies, but I'd tread cautiously around American Realty, especially if the Federal Reserve begins to wind down its bond-buying program.
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