NEW YORK CITY-In the second buyout announcement in as many days, two Northeast-based real estate giants are said to be talking merger plans. Details are sketchy, but published reports have stated that talks are taking place between Insignia Financial and growing REIT Vornado Realty Trust.

While neither Vornado nor Insignia executives could be reached, has been told that the rumor has no basis in fact. But if the talk is true, the play would be an ironic twist in the growth pattern for locally based Insignia, which a few years back made headlines almost monthly for its aggressive acquisition strategy that included such names as Douglas Elliman; Lynch Murphy Walsh & Partners; and Frain Camins & Swartchild.

Insignia Financial Group, the parent of Insignia ESG, saw its stock rise $1.25 to $11.63, a gain of more than 12%.

Backing up the report that the rumor is untrue, the story comes at a strange time in the economic cycle, and analysts seem wary to embrace fully such a deal, despite the fact of strong numbers in both stock and real estate performance. While the numbers add up, the threat of a downturn looms large in their perception. will continue to track the story.

For more on the merger–as well as an update on the CB Richard Ellis deal–click on:No Bidding War Seen for CB Richard Ellis, Insignia

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