Monday, November 03, 2014

Post: Forest City's selling arena to convert to REIT; is ownership at odds with Ratner?

The New York Post's Josh Kosman, who last week reported that Stephen Schwarzman's Blackstone Group is very involved with the Barclays Center, has another scoop, Barclays Center auction frays over Ratner control issues.

Apparently Forest City Enterprises wants to sell its 55% share of the Barclays Center to allow the corporation to convert to a real estate investment trust (REIT), a long-contemplated plan, which requires revenue from real estate, not arena-related ticket sales or other event income.

So, as the auction begins this week, Ratner has said he wants a "strategic partner" who'll buy a piece of the and keep current management, including him and arena CEO Brett Yormark. That would certainly help in terms of synergy with the planned Nassau Coliseum revamp.

However, Kosman reports, Ratner's extended family at the helm of Forest City would rather sell to a majority owner, which would pay more and bring in its own management team.

"The company is hoping for a $1 billion valuation on the arena, slightly more than the $900 million cost," writes Kosman.

Forest City spokesman Jeff Linton, however, told the Post, “We would be happy to . . . keep current management in place." 

Stay tuned.

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