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ATLANTA-Wells Real Estate Funds, on an ambitious acquisition drive throughout 2003, is planning the same for 2004 as it launches its newest real estate investment product, Wells Real Estate Investment Trust II Inc. The new fund hopes to garner $7.8 billion from newly issued stock to buy new assets in 2004. Wells’ 2003 goal is $2.5 billion in acquired properties.

The private, locally based REIT is offering 600 million newly issued shares of common stock at $10 per share, with discounts available for certain categories of purchasers. Wells is also offering another 185 million shares of common at $9.55 per share under its dividend reinvestment plan.

Wells will not have to wait for investors’ responses to the offerings since it already is using a $500-million unsecured revolving credit line with a group of 20 lenders, as GlobeSt.com reported in May of this year. The facility matures in April 2005. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Key Bank are the lead lenders in the consortium.

Wells’ valued its portfolio of managed assets at $3.3 billion in June after closing on what some commercial real estate observers say was the swiftest bulk purchase of class A office properties on record. In a 40-day buying blitz, the REIT paid $865 million for properties in six metro markets totaling 4.9 million sf.

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