The firm also is in various stages of negotiations to sell some$163 million in assets to buyers ranging from private individualsto large REITs, said David J. Oakes, EVP and CIO, speaking at thecompany's third quarter conference call.

|

"We have sold assets in the past and will continue to do so, asit's one of the least expensive sources of capital," said Oakes ina press release. The company also is suspending its fourth quarterdividend.

|

The funds will be used to decrease leverage (with a goal ofreducing leverage by $500 million in 2009) and fund other possiblecapital expenditures, including a joint venture that will invest inchallenged assets with significant upside. Other opportunities alsoare becoming available as private owners are selling to stave offpersonal bankruptcy, Oakes said.

|

The company also is looking to sell back stores to anchors suchas Wal-Mart, which can raise up to $200 million in cash relativelyinexpensively, In addition, the company will complete asoon-to-open project in Manaus, Brazil, but will suspend furtheractivity there and in Russia until markets stabilize, said ScottWolstein, chairman and CEO. "We continue to believe [in this area],but are rationing capital," Wolstein said.

|

The company reported FFO per diluted share of 83 cents for thethird quarter, up from 80 cents per share in the prior year.However, net earnings were 23 cents per share, down from 26 centsper share in the same quarter last year. Base rental rates rose16.4% on new leases, 6.9% on renewals and 8.9% overall. During thequarter, the company sold six shopping centers and one businesscenter. The company owns and manages approximately 720 retailoperating and development properties in 45 states, plus Puerto Ricoand Brazil, totaling approximately 159 million sf.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.