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JENKINTOWN, PA-American Financial Realty Trust reports a first-quarter loss of $17.9 million compared with a loss of $23.4 million the same quarter a year ago. During a conference call, Harold Pote, president and CEO, told analysts, “This is the last time I will talk about our five-point repositioning plan. We’re ready to build value for the future.”

Pote instituted the plan when he took the company’s helm in August 2006. At its heart was the disposition of up to $2 billion in non-core assets. Currently just $237 million in non-core assets remain to be sold, he said, “and more than half of those were sold in April or are under contract.”

He is including the agreement to sell the 700,000-sf Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. headquarters in Novato, CA for $310 million, as previously reported by GlobeSt.com. That sale is expected to close by this June, and Pote said a remaining $100-million in assets would be sold by year-end.

Future activities include “driving profitability in the 900 or so buildings we still own and putting attractive new business on the books.” To “use capital effectively,” he said the company would look to joint-venture relationships to acquire properties in the pipeline and “consider JVs for some existing assets.”

He said he was not yet prepared to identify properties in the acquisition pipeline. “We were pretty much out of the market for awhile, but we’ll be back in a big way. It’s one of my highest priorities.” They will be primarily triple-net fully leased bank branches, he said.

Meanwhile, two independent trustees have been named to the AFR board. They are Richard Berry, president and COO of Independence Capital Partners, and John Biggar, former EVP and CFO of PPL Corp.

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