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ORLANDO-The long-term strategy behind the name change of Commercial Net Lease Realty Inc. to National Retail Properties Inc. is simply to continue growing the REIT’s portfolio, strengthen its share price, lower its weighted average cost of capital and better clarify its industry mission, company CEO Craig Macnab tells GlobeSt.com.

“Our new identity helps quickly identify us as national players focused on retail properties,” Macnab says. “Over time, this name will help us generate top-of-mind awareness with retailers and others involved in high-quality, long-term real estate.” The 22-year-old company boasts a portfolio of 524 investment properties in 41 states with a gross leasable area of about 9.2 million sf.

The name change comes only two years after Macnab arrived on the Orlando commercial scene after leaving Atlanta where he was president and CEO of the defunct JDN Realty Corp. James M. Seneff Jr., chairman and founder of National Retail’s parent, CNL Financial Group, hired Macnab to replace him as CEO. Seneff continues to chair the parent company. Three months later, in May 2004, Macnab replaced Gary M. Ralston as president of CNLR when Ralston resigned, after 16 years with the company, to form Florida Retail Development LLC.

“Our long-term strategy is to build value for our shareholders by doing more of the same” things the company has been involved in for the past 22 years, Macnab says. Those goals include “accretive retail property acquisitions, increasingly in areas where we are adding incremental value to the tenant or the transaction; and selective development with an increasing emphasis on development for long-term ownership at competitive yields, as opposed to develop for sale.”

Also on the strategic front burner, Macnab tells GlobeSt.com, are “modest increases in the scope and scale of our 1031 exchange business to compensate for what we lose by retaining some of our development properties, continuing our capital recycling program and reinvesting the proceeds in higher-yielding, well-underwritten retail properties.”

Lastly, Macnab says he wants National Retail to “meet, but preferably exceed expectations. If we do this, we hope that over time this consistent performance will be reflected our share price, thereby lowering our weighted average cost of capital.”

He adds, “The name National Retail Properties reinforces to all of our relationships and stakeholders our national presence and is consistent with our retail focus. However, our strategy succeeds due to the effort and hard work of each and every one of our valued associates.”

National Retail has increased annual dividends for 16 consecutive years and paid 86 consecutive quarterly dividends. “The 16 years of increased annual dividends paid, puts us as one of only 198 of the more than 10,000 publicly traded companies in America that have increased annual dividends [for] that many consecutive years,” Macnab says. The company’s ticker symbol, NNN, will remain the same on the New York Stock Exchange where National Retail’s stock has traded since 1994.

“Creating a name that more accurately reflected the makeup of the NNN portfolio is something we have considered for quite some time,” Macnab says. “We felt it was an important thing to do to help solidify a distinctive identity.” The name change didn’t come suddenly. “Changing a corporate name involves many moving pieces, particularly for a publicly traded company, so it takes awhile to coordinate all of that.”

Macnab and his board are confident “the name National Retail Properties more accurately reflects our long-term growth strategy and solidifies our identity as the leading REIT, focused on net-leased retail properties in the United States,” the company’s chief says. “Our new identity is a better reflection of who we are and what we do. It gives credence to the scope of our nationwide portfolio, emphasizes our focus on retail properties and helps eliminate marketplace confusion.”

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