AmREIT Inc. Tuesday rejected Jacksonville-based Regency Centers Corp.’s unsolicited offer to buy the company for $22 a share.
However, Houston-based AmREIT said its board of directors will “explore strategic alternatives to enhance stockholder value,” indicating it could be open to a higher offer.
Regency did not publicly respond Tuesday to AmREIT’s late afternoon announcement.
Regency announced its offer to buy AmREIT three weeks ago after AmREIT officials refused to negotiate a possible deal.
Regency operates 332 shopping centers around the company, and Regency officials think the much smaller AmREIT would be a good fit for the company. AmREIT operates 33 retail properties focused in high-growth areas of Texas and Atlanta.
Investors have been anticipating a higher offer coming in for AmREIT, with its stock trading above $22 since Regency publicized its offer to buy the company. The stock closed at $23.32 Tuesday, before AmREIT’s announcement.