Update: Equity Office reaffirms Blackstone bid

Sam Zell’s US real estate group has voted to accept the private equity giant’s bid of $54 per share, despite Vornado Realty Trust’s offer of $56 per share.

The board of trustees of Sam Zell’s Equity Office Properties has voted in favor of The Blackstone Group’s $54 per share offer, the company said.

The deal could close by February 9.

As reported yesterday, a group of real estate investors led by Vornado Realty Trust made an offer of $56 per share, a total transaction value of about $41 million. Under that agreement, $31 per shares would be payable in cash and the remaining $25 per share would be subject to a collar agreement, Equity Office said in a statement.

“The Board has been advised that the net present value of the Vornado offer is between $54.28 and $54.88 per share, even after taking into account the receipt of dividends in the interim,” the statement said.

The board prefers the Blackstone offer because of its “certainity of value and virtual certainty of closing in the immediate future,” the statement said.