Global Net Lease shareholders approve deal with Necessity Retail

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Shareholders in real estate investment trust Global Net Least Inc approved a planned merger with The Necessity Retail REIT to form the third-largest net lease REIT, the company said on Friday.

The all stock transaction is also expected to be approved by Necessity Retail REIT shareholders, according to sources, who are not permitted to discuss the vote publicly. Their vote is scheduled for later on Friday.

The GNL stock price climbed 1.34% while the Necessity price was up 1.9% on Friday.

The combined company, which is expected to own and manage 1,350 properties and have an aggregate real estate asset value of $9.6 billion, purchases, develops, and owns commercial real estate and rents it to tenants under a net lease agreement.

The deal, which initially faced pushback from some shareholders, comes after a year of engaging with investment firm Blackwells. Blackwells chief investment officer Jason Aintabi moved to support the deal after securing a number of enhancements, including governance improvements.

The new company will have a more simplified structure and the companies previously projected annual cash savings of $54 million through the elimination of asset management fees, property management fees and other fees.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss)