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SAN FRANCISCO-Catellus Development Corp. plans to purchase 10.6 million shares of its common stock from the California Public Employees Retirement System for $183 million in cash.

According to reports, the publicly traded real estate operating company will pay $17.2755 per share. Shares in Catellus closed Wednesday at $17.45. In Thursday afternoon trading, shares stood at $17.71 on volume of 400,000 shares.

The transaction is expected to close Dec. 14. It will reduce CalPERS’ ownership in Catellus to approximately 9.45% of the company’s outstanding stock. CalPERS will be able to trade its remaining shares freely. “This transaction allows us increased flexibility in our portfolio, and we hope that reducing our ownership percentage in Catellus will allow us to pursue other opportunities together,” says Michael McCook, senior investment officer for CalPERS real estate program.

Including this transaction, Catellus has repurchased 21,649,797 shares of stock to date in 2001, at an average price of $17.20 per share. Catellus also confirmed in the announcement its 2001 and 2002 earnings guidance for EBDDT per share at 10%-12 % growth over 2001. The company said in October it expected EBDDT to grow about 20 percent this year over 2000.

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