(To read more on the debt and equity markets, click here.)

HOUSTON-Local REIT Weingarten Realty Investors is hitting the capital markets with a $200-million offering of eight million preferred security shares. A Jan. 30 closing is planned for the run.

In a press release, Weingarten’s executive team said it plans to use net proceeds to repay outstanding credit facilities and possibly general purposes. Weingarten uses the credit facilities as one of its main funding sources for acquisition and development programs.

Philip Martin, managing director, equity research with Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.’s Chicago office says the offering didn’t raise any red flags within the investment community because it’s just one way for REITs to raise capital equity and debt on a regular basis. “This transaction isn’t outside the norm for a company like Weingarten,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “They’re doing a good job of ongoing growth strategy including acquisition and development. This is a form of relatively affordable and efficient capital.”

Martin, whose company analyzes Weingarten and other REITS, adds that Weingarten, under the leadership of president and CEO Andrew M. Alexander, is able to blend capital-market savvy with real-estate savvy. “The company is known historically for doing an excellent job of managing its balance sheet and capital structure,” Martin says. “The offering is further proof of that.”

Wachovia Securities LLC is the book-running manager for the offering while senior co-managers are Citigroup Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co. Junior co-managers for the transaction are RBC Capital Markets Corp., Stifel Nicolaus & Co. Inc., and J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons Inc.

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