SCOTTSDALE, AZ—REITs this week have been busy tapping into their ready access to the public markets, led by Spirit Realty Capital Inc. The Scottsdale, AZ-based single-tenant REIT expects to realize proceeds of at least $867.2 million from its sale of 23 million shares of common stock and $650 million in convertible senior notes. Other investment trusts pricing stock or bond offerings since Monday have included Gramercy Property Trust, Northstar Realty Finance, Corporate Office Properties Trust, Lexington Realty Trust and Select Income REIT, representing an aggregate of more than $1.5 billion in fundraising activity.
SRC upsized its convertible note offerings between Tuesday and Wednesday, going from $200 million to $300 million of notes maturing in 2021, along with $350 million due in 2019. It also granted underwriters an overallotment option to buy up to $52.5 million of additional 2019 notes and $45 million of 2021 notes.
The net lease REIT on Wednesday afternoon priced its stock offering at $10.69 per share and gave underwriters a 30-day option to up to 3.4 million additional shares. It plans to use proceeds from the stock and bond offerings to pay down debt, to fund potential future acquisitions and for general corporate purposes.
Largely on the strength of its reduced exposure to the Shopko retail portfolio as well as its recent capital-raising activity, analyst Daniel Donlan at Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. this week upgraded SRC’s rating to “buy” from “neutral.” However, he wrote, “given SRC’s wide multiple gap vs. its closest single-tenant net lease retail peers, its higher cost of debt and heavily secured balance sheet, we believe SRC’s competitors could look to the REIT as an attractive takeout candidate.” In fact, Donlan wrote, “we actually see SRC as a likelier takeout candidate today than we did previously,” although such a buyout would more likely occur later in 2014 or next year.
In connection with its previously announced buyout of Garrison Investment Trust’s 50% share in a 3.1-million-square-foot joint venture of office properties largely leased to Bank of America, New York City-based GPT on Wednesday upsized its common stock offering to 40 million shares from the previously announced 34 million. It priced the offering at $4.98 per share and gave underwriters an option to buy an additional six million shares. The offering is expected to close on May 19.
On Tuesday, NRF, also headquartered in New York City, priced an offering of 30 million shares of common stock at $15.45 apiece, with an option for underwriters to buy up to 4.5 million shares. Earlier in the week, the REIT priced an underwritten public offering of $225 million of its 8.75% Series E Preferred Stock with a liquidation preference of $25 per share, along with a 30-day option for underwriters to acquire up to $33.75 million more in preferred stock.
Both offerings are intended to go toward funding NRF’s share of a $1.3-billion JV with Chatham Lodging Trust, which GlobeSt.com reported this past Friday. The preferred stock offering is expected to close on Thursday, with the common stock sale due to close the day after.
Columbia, MD-based COPT on Wednesday priced an offering of $300 million aggregate principal amount of 3.70% senior unsecured notes due June 15, 2021, at a price equal to 99.739% of the principal amount. It plans to use the proceeds to repay debt, to fund the expected redemption of its Series H preferred shares and for general corporate purposes.
Lexington, also a REIT in the single-tenant net lease space, said on Tuesday that it had priced an underwritten public offering of $250 million in 4.40% senior unsecured notes due June 15, 2024 at a price equal to 99.883% of the principal amount. The New York City-based REIT’s offering is expected to close on May 20, and will be used to pay down debt.
Headquartered in Newton, MA, SIR said Wednesday evening that it had priced an offering of nine million common shares at $29 apiece. Underwriters have 30 days to buy up to 1.35 million additional shares; the offering is expected to close on May 20.
In a report summing up first-quarter results for the 104 companies that it tracks, RBC notes the increasing challenges REITs face in making acquisitions “as cap rates are pushing lower for most property types in the face of low interest rates and plentiful private equity capital.” RBC analysts noted that the level of outperformance among REITs last quarter—46% beats earning expectations, 31% missed and 23% met—was among the lowest dating back to 2006, while the number of misses was elevated by historical norms.
Debt and equity are readily available for most REITs, RBC said in its report. That being said, GlobeSt.com on Thursday reported that New York City-based ETRE REIT‘s IPO has been postponed, possibly indefinitely, because it went past the SEC’s 135-day limit to price the offering after filing for it in February.