American Homes 4 Rent, the largest publicly traded U.S. single-family home landlord, agreed to acquire a smaller competitor, American Residential Properties Inc., in a deal valued at $1.5 billion, including debt.

The combined company will own more than 47,000 homes in 22 states and will have a stock-market value of $5.5 billion, according to a statement Thursday. American Homes 4 Rent will issue about 38 million shares and assume or repay about $800 million of American Residential Properties debt. Investors will get 1.135 shares or units of American Homes for each American Residential share they own. That values the target company at $19.01 a share, about 8.7% more than Wednesday's closing price.

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