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VOL. 133 | NO. 127 | Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Daily Digest

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EdR to Be Acquired In $4.6 Billion Deal

Memphis-based collegiate housing developer and manager EdR has entered into an agreement to be acquired by the newly formed, perpetual-life fund Greystar Student Housing Growth and Income Fund in a $4.6 billion all-cash transaction.

Per the terms of the merger, EdR shareholders will receive $41.50 per share in cash, which is a 13.6 percent premium over the closing price May 31, 2018 – the last trading day before news stories speculating about the possible sale of EdR began circulating.

“For more than 50 years, EdR has been a pioneer in the student housing industry, partnering with some of America’s most prestigious universities to enhance and transform their campus housing and achieve their student success goals,” Randy Churchey, EdR’s chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors said in a release. “As a public company, one of our priorities is to maximize stockholder value and we believe this transaction with Greystar accomplishes that goal. We are certain today’s announcement is in the best interest of all of EdR’s stakeholders, including university partners, employees and stockholders.”

The transaction is expected to close in the latter half of 2018, and as a result EdR does not expect to issue a second-quarter earnings release.

Greystar Student Housing Growth and Income Fund is an affiliate of Charleston, South Carolina-based Greystar Real Estate Partners, a global real estate company specializing in investment management, development, and property management of rental housing properties.

EdR’s exclusive financial adviser was Bank of America Merrill Lynch, while Morrison & Foerster LLP and Venable LLP served as its legal advisers. Meanwhile, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC was Greystar’s exclusive financial adviser, and Hogan Lovells US LLP and King & Spalding were its legal advisers.

– Patrick Lantrip

AutoZone Liberty Bowl Honors Priscilla Presley

Priscilla Presley has been awarded the AutoZone Liberty Bowl’s most prestigious recognition, the Distinguished Citizen Award. She was honored Sunday, June 24, at a dinner benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Presley, the former wife of Elvis Presley, did not take advice from accountants, lawyers and managers who wanted to sell Graceland in the late 1970s. Instead, she reopened her former home to the public and developed Graceland into a prime tourist destination that has brought millions of visitors and hundreds of millions of dollars of economic development to Memphis.

In her business career, she founded several successful businesses and is still active today. Her acting career has spanned decades, and in 2016 and 2017, she produced two chart-topping albums, “If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” and “The Wonder of You: Elvis with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.”

Most recently, she was executive producer of the new HBO documentary feature film “Elvis Presley: The Searcher,” which debuted on HBO earlier this year. Priscilla’s philanthropic endeavors include a longtime position as an Ambassador of the Dream Foundation, granting last wishes to terminally ill adults. She also supports the Humane Society of the United States, lobbying on Capitol Hill to urge members of Congress to cosponsor the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to protect Tennessee walking horses.

Previous Distinguished Citizen Award honorees include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital founder Danny Thomas; U.S. Army General Kenneth Tovo; Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Peter Doherty; FedEx founder Fred Smith; AutoZone founder Pitt Hyde; U.S. Navy Admiral William Lawrence and Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson. And legends from the sports world such as Paul “Bear” Bryant, Tony Dungy, Archie Manning and Tim McCarver.

– Don Wade

Grizzlies Waive Omari Johnson

The Memphis Grizzlies waived forward Omari Johnson just days after selecting forward Jaren Johnson Jr. and guard Jevon Carter in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Johnson (6-foot-9, 220) came off the bench in four games with the Grizzlies as a rookie last season and averaged 5.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 18.8 minutes after signing with the team on April 6.

The 28-year-old Kingston, Jamaica, native started the season with the Grizzlies’ NBA G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, where he appeared in 44 games (38 starts) and averaged 16.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 27.9 minutes.

– Don Wade

Shelby County Unemployment Rises Slightly in May

Shelby County’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly in May while remaining below 4 percent, according to new figures from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The county’s preliminary May unemployment rate was 3.7 percent, up two-tenths of a percentage point from April’s rate but still down from 3.9 percent in May 2017.

Ninety-three of Tennessee’s 95 counties recorded a rate in May that was less than 5 percent, with the two outliers being Lauderdale County (5.3 percent) and Houston County (5.2 percent).

“For nearly an entire year Tennessee has continued to experience historically low unemployment,” Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips said in a statement. “While some counties experienced a slight uptick in their rates between April and May, the numbers are still very impressive.”

Williamson County had the lowest unemployment in the state, with a rate of 2.1 percent. Davidson County was the second-lowest, at 2.2 percent.

Meanwhile, unemployment for the Memphis metropolitan statistical area rose slightly to 3.8 percent in May compared with 3.5 percent in April. It was 4 percent in May 2017. The Memphis MSA includes Fayette, Shelby and Tipton counties, along with portions of North Mississippi and eastern Arkansas.

Tennessee’s statewide unemployment rate has been at 3.5 percent or lower for 11 consecutive months. In May the rate was 3.5 percent, which was an increase of 0.1 of a percentage point from April, but still 0.3 of a percentage point lower than the May 2017 rate.

Nationally, the unemployment rate dropped in May for the second consecutive month. It was 3.8 percent, a decrease of 0.1 of a percentage point from the month before.

– Daily News staff

Avison Young Brokers EnSafe Sale-Leaseback

Avison Young principals Shane Soefker and Jacob Biddle have negotiated the sale-leaseback of environmental consultancy firm EnSafe Inc.’s northeast Memphis headquarters.

The six-building, 51,610-square-foot portfolio, located at 5710-5730 Summer Trees Drive just south of Summer Avenue and west of Sycamore View Road, was purchased by New York-based Royal Oak Realty Trust.

An additional parcel located at 5669 Summer Ave. also was included in the transaction and brings Royal Oak’s purchase to just over 6.5 acres in the Memphis Northeast submarket.

“We are seeing sustained demand for quality properties across product types and submarkets in the Memphis market,” Soefker said in a statement.

“This transaction was a true win-win for both parties involved as EnSafe leveraged the opportunity to monetize their headquarters assets and secured a long-term lease to continue to operate its headquarters facility,” the statement added. “Royal Oak Realty Trust secured a rare opportunity to purchase a property with a well-capitalized and respected tenant. The resulting transaction brought value to both the buyer and seller.”

Founded in 1980, EnSafe offers a range of management and planning solutions to clients in a wide range of industries, providing everything from job-hazard analysis to compliance auditing to engineering design solutions.

– Patrick Lantrip

PROPERTY SALES 28 290 16,197
MORTGAGES 33 165 10,087
BUILDING PERMITS 184 608 38,544
BANKRUPTCIES 33 125 7,597