(Bloomberg) -- Starwood Capital Group has filed with regulators in an attempt to get investors in Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corp. to vote against its plans to sell itself to Sam Zell’s Equity Commonwealth, ratcheting up the fight for the industrial real estate company.

Starwood said in Tuesday’s filing that it believe its proposal clearly provides Monmouth shareholders with greater value and certainty than the Equity Commonwealth deal. Starwood said its offer provides net consideration of $18.88 for each Monmouth share, versus $17.88 a share for the Equity Commonwealth deal.

Monmouth’s board rejected an unsolicited cash offer from Starwood last week, arguing its all-share friendly deal with Equity Commonwealth represented the best opportunity for its investors to maximize value.

Starwood called the move “highly disappointing,” and noted its offer would provide investors with $100 million additional value -- a 5.6% premium. Starwood said it expected Monmouth shareholders to be equally disappointed and to vote against the deal with Zell.

Starwood, which is led by Barry Sternlicht, has taken it a step further by filing a preliminary proxy with regulators to solicit votes against the deal, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

Monmouth, a Holmdel, New Jersey-based real estate investment trust focused on industrial property, agreed in May to be acquired by Equity Commonwealth in an all-share deal currently valued at roughly $2.7 billion, including debt.

The company said it subsequently received an all-cash offer from another unnamed suitor for $18.70 a share, which amounted to a purchase price of $19.51 a share that would be reduced by about $62 million due to a termination fee on the original deal, and a dividend of 18 cents that was to be issued as part of the original transaction.

Starwood later confirmed a Bloomberg News report it was behind the offer, and had sweetened its bid as it pursued the acquisition. It urged the Monmouth board to declare its bid superior.

Monmouth said its board determined the Equity Commonwealth offer provides the investors with the opportunity to participate in the significant upside of the combined company led by Zell and his team, as well as access to Equity Commonwealth’s $2.5 billion in cash and other benefits.

Zell is chairman of Chicago-based Commonwealth, which would hold about 65% of the combined company and add about 120 industrial properties across 31 U.S. states with the acquisition.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.