NEW YORK CITY-Brixmor Property Group, the shopping center operator formed by the Blackstone Group in 2011, said in an SEC filing Thursday that it intends to sell 37.5 million common shares in its IPO. With initial pricing somewhere between $19 and $21 per share, that would mean raising at least $712.5 million and as much as $787.5 million from that offering, not including an overallotment for underwriters.
The SEC has not yet declared the offering plan effective. Brixmor says it intends to trade as a REIT on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BRX. Blackstone, which formed Brixmor after acquiring Centro Properties Group‘s US assets for $9 billion, will continue to own a majority of the voting power of shares.
Bloomberg reported that the sale would represent the largest retail REIT IPO since Simon Property Group‘s $840-million debut in 1993. Brixmor will use proceeds mainly to repay about $628 million under a credit line that comes due in 2017.
In its amended S-11, Brixmor says it owns and operates the largest wholly-owned portfolio of grocery-anchored community and neighborhood shopping centers in the US. The IPO portfolio is comprised of 522 shopping centers totaling approximately 87 million square feet of GLA, wth all but one of those centers 100% owned.
“Our high quality national portfolio is well diversified by geography, tenancy and retail format, with more than 70% of our shopping centers anchored by market-leading grocers,” according to Brixmor’s filing. The future REIT’s four largest tenants by ABR are the Kroger Co., TJX Cos. Inc., Publix Super Markets and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Brixmor cites several factors that the company believes have driven and will continue to drive internal growth. In its same-property portfolio, Brixmor has increased occupancy for 10 consecutive quarters to 91.7%, increased its total ABR for 23 consecutive months through June of this year, executed 1,599 new leases and realized NOI growth of 3.8% for the year that ended Dec. 31, 2012 and 4.2% for the six months that ended June 30.
“We believe that we have taken advantage of our time as a private company to position ourselves with our IPO portfolio and with an efficient operating and management infrastructure to support it,” according to the SEC filing. “As a publicly traded company we do not expect to face the legacy issues that many of our peers face as a result of the global financial crisis and strategic plan modifications,” among them significant non-core asset sales, stalled new developments, resolving of joint ventures and operating platform modifications.