Kushner Cos denies dropping Veris buyout interest

A woman is reflected next to a sign on the building at 666 Fifth Avenue, owned by Kushner Companies, in New York

(Reuters) -Kushner Companies on Thursday denied informing Veris Residential Inc it was not interested in pursuing an acquisition of the multifamily rental property developer.

Real estate investment trust (REIT) Veris said on Wednesday Kushner Cos had ended talks to acquire it, after months of chasing the company with sweetened buyout offers.

“At no time did Kushner ‘inform [Veris] that it was not interested in proceeding at this time’,” said Kushner Cos, which is run by Charles Kushner, the father of former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Veris on Wednesday had said it had spoken with Kushner Cos in recent weeks and a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) was meant to be signed, but the latter backed out.

An NDA is a document exchanged between a prospective buyer and a seller in the early stages of an M&A transaction.

Veris on Thursday reiterated its position that it “remained open to Kushner Cos’ execution of the NDA, to which both parties previously agreed.”

Kushner Cos’ on Thursday said it had “worked diligently” with Veris to finalize an agreement that would give it access to non-public information.

Last week, Veris shareholder Ronald Dickerman said he had met with the company’s board, adding he expects to have further discussions with Veris about its “approach to acquisition interest from prospective third parties.”

Kushner Cos, which met with Veris the day after Dickerman held talks, said it was disappointed it was not informed about the discussions and only came to learn about them through an SEC filing.

“Since learning of (the) SEC filing, we have been evaluating the implications of this development,” Kushner Cos said, without elaborating.

Kushner’s pursuit of Veris, formerly called Mack-Cali Realty Corp, coincides with the real estate sector struggling with rising costs and a drop in demand due to higher home prices and mortgage rates.

Kushner Cos was not immediately available for further comment on Thursday. 

(Reporting by Nathan Gomes in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)