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FORT WORTH-In an SEC filing today, Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. has delivered a tentative merger date to shareholders and marketwatchers. If the schedule holds, its $6.5-billion sale to Morgan Stanley Real Estate will be closed “on or before” Aug. 3.

The Fort Worth-based REIT previously indicated the deal would go down in September. The new date is included in its notices of redemption for the 6.75% Series A convertible cumulative preferred shares and 9.5% Series B cumulative redeemable preferred shares. The plan is to redeem the shares immediately prior to the merger closing. The redemption will be terminated if the merger is delayed or falls out.

Based on an Aug. 3 redemption date, Crescent will pay Series A shareholders $25.36 per share, which includes an unpaid dividend, and Series B holders will get $25.51 per share, including an unpaid dividend. Should the merger close after Aug. 3, shareholders will earn another $0.0047 per day on Series A preferred stock and $0.0066 per day on Series B preferred.

John Goff, the REIT’s vice chairman and CEO, and the executive team have set an Aug. 1 shareholders’ meeting to vote on the merger. In an earlier SEC filing, Crescent founder Richard Rainwater and all executive officers and trust managers said they were voting for the merger. Rainwater owns or control more than 4.42 million shares and holds in excess of 5.46 million partnership units.

The New York City-based buyer has a commitment from Barclay Capital Real Estate Inc. to finance up to $3.8 billion for the deal to close. Barclays’ commitment is good until Oct. 31. If the merger is terminated, Crescent can claim up to $10 million for out-of-pocket expenses and legal fees.

To date, there have been four shareholder lawsuits filed in Tarrant County over the merger agreement. The status of the lawsuits could not be determined before deadline.

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