JACKSONVILLE, FL—Retail REIT Regency Centers Corp. said Thursday that it had offered to buy rival AmREIT Inc. for $22 per share, or approximately $435 million. Houston-based AmREIT’s stock rose to the offer price after Thursday’s announcement, Reuters reported. AmREIT later issued a statement acknowledging receipt of the offer, which its board is evaluating.

“We believe this proposal represents an extremely attractive transaction for AmREIT shareholders, one that would enable them to receive immediate and certain value for their shares or the opportunity to participate in the potential benefit of ownership of an interest in the combined company,” Regency’s chairman and CEO, Hap Stein, wrote in a letter addressed to AmREIT chairman H. Kerr Taylor. Regency already controls 4.2% of AmREIT’s stock.

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