NEW YORK CITY-The deal that took many twists and turns along the way has officially closed today with Blackstone Group taking Equity Office Properties Trust for $23 billion in cash. The New York-based Blackstone acquired whole or partial interests in 580 buildings totaling 108.6 million sf in 16 states and Washington, DC.

EOP shareholders will receive $55.50 in cash per share. “Our merger with The Blackstone Group, the largest private equity buyout in history, is a tribute to the dedication of our employees,” says Richard Kincaid, president and CEO of EOP, in a statement. “We have worked hard over the past ten years to build a great company and maximize shareholder value. We are proud to have assembled an irreplaceable portfolio of extraordinary assets.”

Shareholders approved the merger on Wednesday. This was after an intense January that was highlighted by bidding ping-pong between Vornado Realty Trust and Blackstone – each company trying to raise the other’s offer.

Just before the merger closed, Macklowe Properties took a 6.5-million-sf, New York office portfolio for $7 billion from Equity Office Properties Trust. The deal comes just before the official closing of the merger between EOP and Blackstone Group, which is expected for later today. .

The only EOP building in New York that Macklowe did not acquire in the deal was the 1.3-million-sf 1095 Avenue of the Americas, which is now part of Blackstone’s office holdings.

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