REITs and Real Estate M+A

When businesses need counsel at the intersection of real estate and the public markets, they turn to Goodwin, a proven leader and innovator. From the dawn of the REIT market in the 1960s through the modern REIT era that began in the early 1990s, our lawyers are the industry vanguard – helping to draft the Real Estate Investment Trust Act of 1960, pioneering the creation of the first public UPREIT structure, and successfully representing issuers in the largest and most complex REIT IPOs to date. Goodwin has been consistently recognized as a leader serving the public REIT market, including in connection with alternative uses of the REIT vehicle, REIT conversions and innovative compensation structures like the modern LTIP partnership unit. As REITs have matured into a mainstream investment with expanded reach around the globe, the industry’s top players continue to rely on our expertise and dedication. And as REITs seek to take advantage of regulatory reforms that broaden their access to capital, such as new exemptions from registration or innovative equity securities, our lawyers are always first on the scene.

Real Estate M&A. We guide clients through public and private M&A transactions of all types in the real estate sector, including large-scale strategic public company M&A in all asset classes, buy-side and sell-side leveraged buyouts, management-led buyouts, strategic large-scale portfolio acquisitions, and special committee representation. Clients rely on the expertise we have developed over decades of structuring these complicated transactions and navigating the wide range of issues that arise. We have been involved on the buy or sell side in six out of the seven largest multifamily strategic public REIT M&A transactions in the U.S. to date.

IPOs and Roll-Up Transactions. Transitioning to the public markets is never simple for real estate companies and often requires the combination of multiple private investment vehicles in a complex roll-up transaction to form a REIT that can be introduced to the equity capital markets. Goodwin seamlessly blends the securities, M&A, real estate and tax capabilities necessary for these transactions to help clients transition from private to public. We have represented REITs across all asset classes in their IPOs, including Paramount Group, Inc. in the largest REIT IPO in history, totaling $2.6 billion in gross proceeds.

Public REITs. We represent public REITs through a full range of transactions and material events, including raising capital through the debt and equity capital markets, listing on national securities exchanges, advising on corporate governance and executive compensation matters, and counseling on disclosure and regulatory compliance. Our REIT clients are among the largest and most sophisticated in the industry, and we regularly provide counsel on the most cutting-edge issues confronting public REITs.

REIT Conversions, Spin-Offs and Alternative Investment Structures. Established public companies often seek to unlock value through a REIT conversion, a spin-off of one or more lines of business, and/or a structure that leverages their platform using private capital (institutional or retail). We assist our clients in structuring and executing these technically complex transactions, which often require a cross-disciplinary approach.

Strategic Portfolio Transactions. REITs often grow and/or recycle capital through strategic portfolio transactions. We leverage the breadth and depth of our expertise around real estate as an asset class to assist REITs with tax-structured OP unit exchanges; joint ventures with sovereign wealth funds, pension plans, endowments, and other capital allocators globally; and sophisticated portfolio acquisitions.

Related Practices

Real Estate Industry

Rising interest rates? Falling tenant demand? “High-yield” or “value-added”? Across the global real estate capital markets, how you position yourself with respect to risk and return is critical for maximizing your investments. Whether assessing demographic trends and capital flows or anticipating geographic shifts, Goodwin’s Real Estate Industry Group offers deep market insight and a practical approach to help you make the most of every investment decision – from private fund formation and all types of real estate transactions to REIT and real estate M&A, we excel at what we do.

Read More

Acquisitions + Dispositions

Many of the world’s leading investors turn to Goodwin’s global team of lawyers to serve as transactional counsel on all aspects of U.S. and European commercial real estate investment. Our real estate lawyers structure complex direct and indirect purchases and sales of interests in real estate. On these transactions, Goodwin’s team works alongside investment managers and advisors, fund sponsors and real estate operating companies, as well as a wide range of cross-border investors, including open-ended funds, sovereign wealth funds, national pension funds, banks and ultra-high net worth managers on investment and development opportunities around the world, who are looking to acquire or sell assets or interests in real estate. Our experience encompasses transactions involving a diverse range of property types, including retail properties, offices, medical office and hospital facilities, hotel and leisure properties, industrial properties, and mixed-use assets. 
Read More

Capital Markets

Companies seeking to grow, increase liquidity for their investors or reduce their cost of capital regularly turn to Goodwin. We have one of the most active capital markets and public company practices in the United States, serving as outside counsel to public companies in a range of industries and who are listed on both U.S. and non-U.S. exchanges. We combine deep industry knowledge with broad technical expertise across all equity and debt securities and alternative investment structures. Over the past five years, we have advised clients in nearly 300 public offerings with an aggregate value approaching $30 billion. Our practice and lawyers are consistently recognized by industry publications as one of the most active and innovative advisers for capital markets transactions and public companies.
Read More

Development + Permitting

Real estate development requires technical expertise and dedication. Building a successful project starts with good working partnerships and Goodwin is committed to guiding our clients from concept to completion of every project. We counsel developers, investors, corporate owners and managers, nonprofit institutions and investors in large-scale projects of all kinds.

Read More

Dispute Resolution

Real estate disputes cause considerable disruption and distraction. Our lawyers work hard to help you avoid them altogether. Goodwin’s team has unparalleled expertise in both keeping clients out of disputes and resolving disputes involving real property interests. Our litigators work closely with members of our core real estate transaction teams spanning numerous industries, including hospitality and leisure, development and permitting, environmental, design and construction, leasing, and REITs to serve our clients’ needs in a seamless manner.
Read More

Finance + Restructurings

Whether the strategy is to cut losses and move on, work through, step back or place bets on the future, Goodwin's real estate finance lawyers are active market participants, creatively guiding clients through the challenges of the various credit markets. We understand the complexities involved in both existing and proposed capital structures and the varying motivations of stakeholders. Our broad and deep experience allows us to counsel clients effectively as they address a variety of financing needs and opportunities in an ever-evolving, and sometimes volatile, market.
Read More

Hospitality + Leisure

The world’s leading hospitality and leisure companies face an evolving market and increased competition which demand exceptional guidance and legal counsel. Goodwin is dedicated to providing best-in-class service to the hospitality and leisure industry, advising both hotel operators, including a number of the major luxury brands and hotel owners and investors on a wide range of matters. We have worked with many of the hospitality industry’s marquee names on some of the largest and most complex deals over the past decade. Our lawyers across the globe have handled hospitality transactions and related legal issues in more than 50 countries, including asset and portfolio acquisitions and dispositions, hospitality company corporate IPOs and M&A transactions, complex structuring relating to REITs and investments by tax-exempt entities, formation of investment funds targeting hotels, financings of all types, development and operational joint ventures project development, including acquisitions, joint ventures, financings, design and construction, hotel management and franchise agreements, retail leasing, food and beverage operations agreements and employment, including union matters. We understand how to navigate cross-border and multi-jurisdictional transactions and how to overcome the challenges presented by diverse legal systems, cultures, conventions, and languages.
Read More

Joint Ventures

Institutional investors, owners and developers in joint venture transactions face a raft of complex issues and market challenges as they invest in real estate across the United States and Europe. Clients count on Goodwin’s comprehensive understanding of the unique relationships and matters that arise during the life cycle of joint ventures, from formation concerns to exit rights. From single-asset developments to stabilized portfolios, clients leverage our multidisciplinary approach to joint venture transactions, integrating expertise from our tax, ERISA, corporate, securities, regulatory, construction and litigation teams. We regularly advise clients on joint ventures that are REIT compliant and/or UBTI sensitive (including “fractions rule”) compliance, as well as a variety of governance and economic structures, including complex promote waterfalls, clawbacks and multi-tiered transactions. Additionally, our European team is experienced in navigating the AIFMD and merger control considerations that can impact EU joint ventures.
Read More

Mergers + Acquisitions

Goodwin lawyers have deep experience guiding clients through both public and private mergers and acquisitions transactions of all types including leveraged buyouts, tender offers, spinoffs, divestitures and go-privates (both in the U.S. and abroad). Our lawyers bring a distinctive combination of regulatory and transactional expertise, characterized by a high degree of tax and financial sophistication, and a commercial negotiating style that is essential for success. We blend technical know-how and specific industry experience to get deals done quickly and efficiently. We draw on a firm-wide network of specialists in tax, intellectual property, real estate and executive compensation to help clients find practical, innovative solutions to their problems. 
Read More

Investment Funds

Real estate investment managers, ranging from first time fund sponsors to established industry leaders, as well as public REITs, insurance companies and investment banks, depend on Goodwin for the best structure and terms when raising and deploying capital. Our international Real Estate Investment Funds Practice has a reputation as a market leader in advising funds and their sponsors and managers in fund structuring and formation in all key real estate industry verticals. Our work involves U.S., European, Canadian, Latin American and global funds ranging in size from less than $25 million to more than $4 billion. Our lawyers also work with financial institutions, private equity and hedge fund managers expanding their investment funds to include real estate as an investment focus.
Read More

Real Estate Tax

Tax issues often arise when structuring real estate funds, joint ventures, REITs and transactions, particularly when doing so across borders. Our real estate clients turn to Goodwin’s tax experts to help them overcome the hurdles that these issues present. Our tax expertise is at the core of the firm’s real estate transactional practices with dedicated real estate tax experts who are recognized and differentiated by their global industry knowledge, creativity, clarity, and integration with client planning. Working seamlessly with other members of our transaction teams and knowing and understanding a client’s business, allows them to appropriately balance tax considerations and business objectives to achieve the best possible results.
Read More
Related Practices
Real Estate Industry

Rising interest rates? Falling tenant demand? “High-yield” or “value-added”? Across the global real estate capital markets, how you position yourself with respect to risk and return is critical for maximizing your investments. Whether assessing demographic trends and capital flows or anticipating geographic shifts, Goodwin’s Real Estate Industry Group offers deep market insight and a practical approach to help you make the most of every investment decision – from private fund formation and all types of real estate transactions to REIT and real estate M&A, we excel at what we do.

Read More
Acquisitions + Dispositions
Many of the world’s leading investors turn to Goodwin’s global team of lawyers to serve as transactional counsel on all aspects of U.S. and European commercial real estate investment. Our real estate lawyers structure complex direct and indirect purchases and sales of interests in real estate. On these transactions, Goodwin’s team works alongside investment managers and advisors, fund sponsors and real estate operating companies, as well as a wide range of cross-border investors, including open-ended funds, sovereign wealth funds, national pension funds, banks and ultra-high net worth managers on investment and development opportunities around the world, who are looking to acquire or sell assets or interests in real estate. Our experience encompasses transactions involving a diverse range of property types, including retail properties, offices, medical office and hospital facilities, hotel and leisure properties, industrial properties, and mixed-use assets. 
Read More
Capital Markets
Companies seeking to grow, increase liquidity for their investors or reduce their cost of capital regularly turn to Goodwin. We have one of the most active capital markets and public company practices in the United States, serving as outside counsel to public companies in a range of industries and who are listed on both U.S. and non-U.S. exchanges. We combine deep industry knowledge with broad technical expertise across all equity and debt securities and alternative investment structures. Over the past five years, we have advised clients in nearly 300 public offerings with an aggregate value approaching $30 billion. Our practice and lawyers are consistently recognized by industry publications as one of the most active and innovative advisers for capital markets transactions and public companies.
Read More
Development + Permitting

Real estate development requires technical expertise and dedication. Building a successful project starts with good working partnerships and Goodwin is committed to guiding our clients from concept to completion of every project. We counsel developers, investors, corporate owners and managers, nonprofit institutions and investors in large-scale projects of all kinds.

Read More
Dispute Resolution
Real estate disputes cause considerable disruption and distraction. Our lawyers work hard to help you avoid them altogether. Goodwin’s team has unparalleled expertise in both keeping clients out of disputes and resolving disputes involving real property interests. Our litigators work closely with members of our core real estate transaction teams spanning numerous industries, including hospitality and leisure, development and permitting, environmental, design and construction, leasing, and REITs to serve our clients’ needs in a seamless manner.
Read More
Finance + Restructurings
Whether the strategy is to cut losses and move on, work through, step back or place bets on the future, Goodwin's real estate finance lawyers are active market participants, creatively guiding clients through the challenges of the various credit markets. We understand the complexities involved in both existing and proposed capital structures and the varying motivations of stakeholders. Our broad and deep experience allows us to counsel clients effectively as they address a variety of financing needs and opportunities in an ever-evolving, and sometimes volatile, market.
Read More
Hospitality + Leisure
The world’s leading hospitality and leisure companies face an evolving market and increased competition which demand exceptional guidance and legal counsel. Goodwin is dedicated to providing best-in-class service to the hospitality and leisure industry, advising both hotel operators, including a number of the major luxury brands and hotel owners and investors on a wide range of matters. We have worked with many of the hospitality industry’s marquee names on some of the largest and most complex deals over the past decade. Our lawyers across the globe have handled hospitality transactions and related legal issues in more than 50 countries, including asset and portfolio acquisitions and dispositions, hospitality company corporate IPOs and M&A transactions, complex structuring relating to REITs and investments by tax-exempt entities, formation of investment funds targeting hotels, financings of all types, development and operational joint ventures project development, including acquisitions, joint ventures, financings, design and construction, hotel management and franchise agreements, retail leasing, food and beverage operations agreements and employment, including union matters. We understand how to navigate cross-border and multi-jurisdictional transactions and how to overcome the challenges presented by diverse legal systems, cultures, conventions, and languages.
Read More
Joint Ventures
Institutional investors, owners and developers in joint venture transactions face a raft of complex issues and market challenges as they invest in real estate across the United States and Europe. Clients count on Goodwin’s comprehensive understanding of the unique relationships and matters that arise during the life cycle of joint ventures, from formation concerns to exit rights. From single-asset developments to stabilized portfolios, clients leverage our multidisciplinary approach to joint venture transactions, integrating expertise from our tax, ERISA, corporate, securities, regulatory, construction and litigation teams. We regularly advise clients on joint ventures that are REIT compliant and/or UBTI sensitive (including “fractions rule”) compliance, as well as a variety of governance and economic structures, including complex promote waterfalls, clawbacks and multi-tiered transactions. Additionally, our European team is experienced in navigating the AIFMD and merger control considerations that can impact EU joint ventures.
Read More
Mergers + Acquisitions
Goodwin lawyers have deep experience guiding clients through both public and private mergers and acquisitions transactions of all types including leveraged buyouts, tender offers, spinoffs, divestitures and go-privates (both in the U.S. and abroad). Our lawyers bring a distinctive combination of regulatory and transactional expertise, characterized by a high degree of tax and financial sophistication, and a commercial negotiating style that is essential for success. We blend technical know-how and specific industry experience to get deals done quickly and efficiently. We draw on a firm-wide network of specialists in tax, intellectual property, real estate and executive compensation to help clients find practical, innovative solutions to their problems. 
Read More
Investment Funds
Real estate investment managers, ranging from first time fund sponsors to established industry leaders, as well as public REITs, insurance companies and investment banks, depend on Goodwin for the best structure and terms when raising and deploying capital. Our international Real Estate Investment Funds Practice has a reputation as a market leader in advising funds and their sponsors and managers in fund structuring and formation in all key real estate industry verticals. Our work involves U.S., European, Canadian, Latin American and global funds ranging in size from less than $25 million to more than $4 billion. Our lawyers also work with financial institutions, private equity and hedge fund managers expanding their investment funds to include real estate as an investment focus.
Read More
Real Estate Tax
Tax issues often arise when structuring real estate funds, joint ventures, REITs and transactions, particularly when doing so across borders. Our real estate clients turn to Goodwin’s tax experts to help them overcome the hurdles that these issues present. Our tax expertise is at the core of the firm’s real estate transactional practices with dedicated real estate tax experts who are recognized and differentiated by their global industry knowledge, creativity, clarity, and integration with client planning. Working seamlessly with other members of our transaction teams and knowing and understanding a client’s business, allows them to appropriately balance tax considerations and business objectives to achieve the best possible results.
Read More

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