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NEW YORK CITY-The liquidation plan set forth by Wellsford Real Properties in May 2005 has been put on hold. The driving force behind the stay is the merger agreement the locally based REIT has entered with data base company Reis Inc., also based here.

The deal puts a value of $90 million on Reis, which will receive $34.6 million in cash and 4.2 million shares of WRP common stock if the deal goes through. After approvals, the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year. WRP currently holds a 23% stake in the database firm.

The liquidation plan, now on hold, was approved in May of last year, the result of a search for methods to “increase shareholder value.” This was how chairman and CEO Jeffrey H. Lynford expressed it to his shareholders in his 2005 annual report letter.

In the statement announcing the possible merger, the REIT’s officers explain that “WRP would change its basis of accounting from a liquidation basis to a going-concern basis in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Reis would be the primary continuing business activity, and the development or sale of the remaining real estate properties would be a diminishing activity.” But that doesn’t mean it would stop, and the statement made clear that while the liquidation plan will be cancelled if the merger is approved, the sell-off of brick-and-mortar assets would continue.

BMO Capital Markets would provide the loan for the cash part of the deal. Investment banking firm Lazard and law firm King & Spalding LLP are advising WRP on the merger.

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