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PHILADELPHIA-Taberna Realty Finance Trust, a locally based private REIT, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Nov. 23 to raise up to $345 million in an initial public offering. The SEC document does not contain the number or price of shares to be offered and no date for the IPO is set. The named underwriters are Friedman Billings Ramsey, Piper Jaffray and Flagstone Securities.

Taberna provides financing for REITs and other real estate companies and also acquires real estate. According to the filing, it was organized in March 2005 and is headed by Daniel G. Cohen, CEO. Cohen returned a call to GlobeSt.com, but is unable to comment on the filing at this time.

The SEC filing says Taberna completed private placement of common shares to institutional buyers via the Portal market, a subsidiary of the Nasdaq, which facilitates secondary sales of eligible unregistered securities. Those sales began on April 28, 2005 at $10 per share, and reached a high of $12.50 a share during the Oct. 1 through Nov.4 timeframe. As of Oct. 26, according to the SEC document, just over 43.6 million shares were issued.

The SEC document says Taberna plans to use an unspecified amount of the proceeds from the IPO to repay a portion of its indebtedness under two existing repurchase agreements and others it might enter. A repurchase agreement is an arrangement that involves the selling of securities at a specified price with a commitment to repurchase them at a fixed price on a specific future date.

The two existing agreements listed in the filing are for just under $192.3 million at Libor plus 50 basis points from Bear Stearns Mortgage Capital Corp., and for just over $58.9 million at the same rate of interest from Bear Stearns International. Both agreements mature in July 2006 and are renewable in 30-day increments. Proceeds from the IPO may also be used for general corporate purposes, including investments in mortgage loans and real estate-related assets, the SEC document states.

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