Here's a bit of not-really-news from a few months ago, on the subject of Archstone's current and possible future owners.
"Rumors of a sale of the Archstone portfolio—via portfolio disposition, IPO, or a combination of both—have been circulating for some time as the Lehman Bros., Bank of America, and Barclays ownership group look to recoup some of the $22 billion investment made in privatizing the former REIT back in 2007, before the market collapsed."
I'm not sure, but I think Archstone has been shrinking since then (that is, net-sellers of their portfolio). It's hard to know how much Barclays/Lehman/BofA overpaid without doing a lot more research, but I suspect somewhere between 50-100% (and I'm very bullish on multifamily).
More recently, WSJ and NYT have had coverage of offers made that the owners are having some trouble deciding what to do with. Here is Reuters describing the contents of the WSJ coverage:
"Equity Residential, AvalonBay, and Brookfield put in bids for the whole of Archstone, though none of the offers were all-cash, the report said. It said Blackstone had made bids only for parts of the company."
It'll be interesting to see what happens, particularly since the Lehman decision process is presumably going through a court-appointed trustee who probably is a very, very busy person or persons. They seem to be doing smart things, at least:
Getting out of Crystal City, given the near future departure of big military lessors of office space, makes sense.
As a person with zero credentials and little knowledge, taking Archstone public makes the most sense. But I'm the peanut gallery.