The Blackstone Group, a New York-based commercial real estate investor, is acquiring Boca Resorts, an owner and operator of Florida resort properties, for about $1.25 billion.Blackstone is paying $24.00 for each share of Boca Resorts, which represents a 28% premium over the Oct. 20 closing price of $18.76, according to Boca Resorts. Acquisition financing for the transaction is being provided by Bank of America, Bear Stearns, and Merrill Lynch. The board of directors of Boca Resorts has approved the merger, which is expected to close in late 2004 or early 2005, the company said. Boca Resorts chairman and chief executive Wayne Huizenga, who holds about 98% of the company's vote, is voting in favor of the merger, the company said.

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