Rating Agency Slightly Bearish on Archstone Deal

From the Wall Street Journal:

Equity Residential EQR -0.72% may be pleased with the purchase of apartment giant Archstone that it is making with AvalonBay Communities Inc. AVB -0.09% But Fitch Ratings needs some convincing.

The ratings agency Tuesday placed Equity Residential on watch for a possible downgrade that could lower the company from its current investment-grade BBB+, which is three notches above junk, says Steven Marks, head of Fitch’s U.S. REITs group…

Mr. Marks says Fitch is concerned that Equity Residential’s balance sheet may get strained if it runs into problems selling assets.