Greystar Real Estate Partners is in exclusive discussions to buy Education Realty Trust Inc, owner of collegiate housing communities, for about $3.1 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Greystar, which operates apartments in the United States, has offered $41.50 a share for Education Realty, the Journal reported, adding that the deal is expected to be announced later this week.

Education Realty's shares rose 1.5 percent at $40.69.

This comes about two weeks after the Journal reported that the Memphis-based real estate investment trust was exploring a potential sale and was in talks with private-equity firms, citing people familiar with the matter.

At least one other group is looking to buy Education Realty, the Journal reported on Wednesday.

Both Greystar and Education Realty were not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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