Post Properties being sold to Memphis rival

Apartment giant Post Properties, a fixture in metro Atlanta real estate for decades, has agreed to be bought by a larger rival.

MAA, a real estate investment trust based in Memphis, said Monday it will buy Post in a deal valued at about $4 billion. The merger is expected to close by year’s end.

Post is one of the best-known Sun Belt apartment developers and operators. Its flower logo is a familiar symbol on properties across the metro area.

Post recently broke ground on a community in downtown Atlanta near Centennial Olympic Park. Its website lists 15 existing properties in the region.

“The combination of MAA and Post will establish the leading apartment real estate platform focused on the high-growth Sunbelt region of the country with significant competitive advantages to drive superior value for our shareholders, residents and employees,” H. Eric Bolton, Jr., MAA Chairman and CEO, said in a news release.

The combined company will take the MAA name and will be based in Memphis, but will continue to have a large presence in Atlanta, the release said. The merged company is expected to see $20 million in annual “synergies,” or largely cost savings that generally come from cutting some jobs and overlapping services.

Bolton will remain CEO after the merger, according to the release, which did not indicate whether Post CEO David Stockert will stay with the company. Details of potential job shifts or cuts were not immediately known.

Post Properties shareholders will receive .71 shares of MAA common stock per share of Post, the companies said.

Apartments have been one of the strongest performing real estate asset classes coming out of the Great Recession. A higher percentage of households are now renters, rather than homeowners, and many would-be first time buyers have been priced out of the market, don’t have the savings for a down payment or would prefer to rent rather than make a commitment to buy.

The metro Atlanta area has seen mid-to high-rise apartment development surge amid a boom in white collar job growth. Rents also have risen considerably amid Atlanta’s apartment booming, putting stress on the region’s stock of affordable housing.

The combined company will operate 105,000 apartment units in more than 300 properties and have a significant Sun Belt presence.

Post was founded in the 1970s by noted Atlanta developer John Williams, who was CEO into the early 2000s.

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