Private-equity firm Blackstone Group raised its bid for Equity Office Properties Trust by 11.3%, to $54 a share, hoping to deliver a knockout blow to a rival bid led by Vornado Realty Trust , CNBC's David Faber reported.
Blackstone's new bid, which total's $22.4 billion, compares with a $52 a share cash-and-stock offer totling $21.6 billion from the Vornado group, which includes Barry Sternlicht of Starwood Capital Group Global and Neil Bluhm of Walton Street Capital.
Blackstone's bid "would seem to be a somewhat insurmountable lead, especially given the timing of this deal," Faber said. "There will be a shareholder vote on this all-cash offer--which has been accepted--on Feb. 5. Blackstone is saying it can close this deal by Feb. 8, so you get your money very quickly. Will Vornado choose to try and compete with $54? It remains very much unclear at this point."