NEW YORK CITY-Gramercy Capital Corp. said Tuesday that it’s exiting the CRE finance business and will trade on the New York Stock Exchange as Gramercy Property Trust beginning April 15. On Monday the company closed on its transfer of collateral management and sub-special servicing agreements for its three CDOs to CWCapital Investments LLC for approximately $9.9 million, while retaining the equity.
When the sale to CWCapital was announced on Jan. 31, Gramercy CEO Gordon DuGan called it “a significant milestone in the transformation of Gramercy into a pure-play equity REIT.” He added that the deal was expected to produce an increase in corporate liquidity as well as “a significant reduction in going-forward expenses and a simplification of the balance sheet. We are very well positioned to continue our focus on creating durable, high-quality income from net lease assets throughout the US.”
In a release Tuesday announcing its quarterly and full-year 2012 results, Gramercy says ots exit from the finance business marks “an important step for the company in achieving a number of important objectives.” They include: maximizing the value of the servicing business through the sale to a large servicing operation; simplifying the going-forward business and significantly reducing the ongoing management, general and administrative expenses; generating more than $50 million in liquidity previously invested in the CDO business; and providing for potential future proceeds through the retention of the equity in the three CDOs.
A new logo and website will appear when Gramercy begins trading as a REIT, along with a new stock symbol, GPT. The new name and format signify the company’s ttransition into a net lease investor focused on office and industrial properties, and is “in keeping with the business strategy to create recurring, durable cash flows,” the release states.
For the fourth quarter of ’12, Gramercy generated negative funds from operations of $126.8 million, a $302.3-million decrease from FFO of $175.5 million in Q4 of 2011. For the full year, FFO decreased to negative $157.8 million from $395.3 million for the 12 months that ended Dec. 31, ’11. FFO includes a negative $149.3 million for Q4, and a negative $169.2 million for the full year, from discontinued operations related to the company’s exit from the CRE finance business.
During Q4 ‘12, Gramercy closed on approximately $512.1 million of acquisitions, directly investing about $86.2 million of cash equity into the deals. Thus far in Q1 of this year, Gramercy has closed on $24.65 million of acquisitions, in the form of a 600,000-square-foot industrial property in Olive Branch, MS.