Forest City Realty Trust Inc., one of Cleveland’s most iconic companies, is reportedly in talks to be bought by Brookfield Asset Management Inc., Canada’s largest alternative-asset manager.
The news — in a Bloomberg report citing unnamed sources — follows Forest City’s announcement last fall that it was considering strategic alternatives to increase shareholder value, including a potential sale or merger. At the time, the company was being targeted by an activist investor, Land & Buildings Investment Management.
Jonathan Litt, Land & Buildings’ founder, said in a letter in April that he believed Forest City would attract numerous bidders if it were to put itself up for sale. Litt has since sold his Forest City stake, according to a regulatory filing in November. Last month, MaryAnne Gilmartin left her position as Forest City New York CEO to form L&L MAG, a new development firm backed by Robert Lapidus and David Levinson of L&L Holding Co.
"I'm 24 years at Forest City and I've had a great run," Gilmartin told Politico. "The company, as a REIT, is moving in a different direction and my first love is real estate development."
Forest City has be tweaking its real estate investments in recent months, shrinking its stake in a mixed-use Brooklyn property and selling its interest in Antelope Valley Mall in Palmdale, California, with plans to drop seven more malls from its portfolio in the works.