Oriole Partnership LLC has raised its offer to $39.50 per share for Town and Country Trust (NYSE: TCT), Town and Country announced Thursday. That makes Oriole the frontrunner in a two-week contest among three potential buyers for Town and Country, which owns 38 multifamily properties in Mid-Atlantic states and Florida.

Town and Country informed its board of trustees that the Oriole bid is a better deal than the merger had planned with Magazine Acquisition Group, a joint venture that includes Morgan Stanley Real Estate.

Magazine Acquisition recently upped its bid to $39 per share from an earlier offer of $33.90 per share. The bidder and Town and Country tentatively agreed to a merger based on that price late last year, but an unsolicited offer of $37 per share from Boston-based Berkshire Property Advisors touched off the bidding war.