Santa Monica real estate investment trust Colony Financial Inc. announced Wednesday that it had agreed to acquire Cobalt Capital Partners, a real estate investment trust in Irving, Texas, for about $1.6 billion.

With the acquisition, Colony will gain a 30 million-square-foot industrial portfolio with 256 properties across 16 major U.S. markets. Much of Cobalt’s portfolio was concentrated in Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago. The transaction is expected to close next month.

Colony founder Thomas Barrack Jr. said the Cobalt acquisition would generate attractive returns for Colony.

“Cobalt is a highly coveted portfolio of strategically located assets, in high growth markets, well positioned to benefit from a strengthening economy in the next phase of the business cycle,” he said in a statement. “Moreover, it features strong rental rates and a well-diversified tenant base, underscored by low capital requirements.”

News of the acquisition comes after Barrack announced earlier this month that his investment firm Colony Capital would merge with the public real estate investment trust.

Cobalt’s management team, led by founder and Managing Partner Lewis D. Friedland, will continue to operate the business, including handling acquisitions and property management.

“Our entire team is excited to join Colony, one of the industry’s premier real estate companies, during this historic period of its evolution,” Friedland said in a statement.

Shares of Colony were trading down after the announcement. They fell 34 cents, or a little over 1 percent, in Wednesday trading to close at $24.23.

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