MAA (MAA) and Colonial Properties Trust (CLP) announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which MAA and Colonial Properties Trust will merge, creating a Sunbelt-focused, publicly traded, multifamily REIT with enhanced capabilities to deliver superior value for residents, shareholders and employees. The combined company is expected to have a pro forma equity market capitalization of approximately $5.1B and a total market capitalization of $8.6B. Under the terms of the agreement, each Colonial Properties Trust common share will be converted into 0.36 newly issued MAA common share, and the combined company will be an UPREIT. On a pro forma basis, following the merger, former MAA equity holders will hold approximately 56% of the combined company's equity, and former Colonial Properties Trust equity holders will hold approximately 44%. The all-stock merger is intended to be a tax-free transaction. The merger is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of the approval of a majority of both the MAA and Colonial Properties Trust shareholders. The parties currently expect the transaction to close during Q3.