ATLANTA-Cousins Properties Inc., one of the most aggressive REITS in the Southeast, is making sure it has more than sufficient capital in house to acquire new assets and develop new product in the coming few years. Cousins increased its credit facility by $50 million to $325 million. Specific terms of the financing by an 11-bank consortium were not disclosed.

Bank of America leads the new financing arrangement as administrative agent. Banc of America Securities LLC is the sole lead arranger and book manager on the deal. Commerzbank is the syndication agent. Wells Fargo and PNC Bank are co-documentation agents. The managing agent is EuroHypo AG. The five other participants in the financing are SouthTrust, Northern Trust, BB&T, Compass Bank and Comerica Bank.

Tom Charlesworth, executive vice president, CFO and chief investment officer for Cousins, calls the consortium “an exception group of financial institutions.” He adds, “With this facility and our other traditional sources of capital, such as non-recourse mortgages, financing ventures and asset sales, we are well-positioned to finance our future investment activities and other cash needs.”

In a separate action, Cousins’ directors are giving shareholders their regular quarterly cash dividend on the Series A cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock. The 48-cent dividend per share, or $1.94 on an annualized basis, is payable Aug. 16 to preferred holders of record on Aug. 2.

The company’s board also declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of 37 cents per share, or $1.48 on an annualized basis, payable Aug. 25 to common holders of record on Aug. 11.

Cousins actively invests in office, retail, medical office, industrial and land development projects. The company’s portfolio consists of equity interests in 13.8 million sf of office and medical office space; 3.2 million sf of retail space; over 1,980 acres of strategically located land tracts for sale or future development; and prime land holdings for development of single family residential communities.

Cousins has been public as a real estate investment trust since 1962. The company’s stock on the New York Stock Exchange is trading in the $32- to $33-per-share range.

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