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NEWPORT BEACH, CA-ROCA Real Estate Securities Fund, an investment vehicle established by former CBRE exec Ray Wirta and partner Harold Hofer, has notified Port Washington, NY-based Cedar Shopping Centers that ROCA thinks the Port Washington-based REIT should “seek strategic alternatives to maximize stockholder value” in light of the REIT’s decline in share value and other factors. ROCA owns 1.1 million or approximately 2.5% of Cedar’s shares, according to the letter, which ROCA released to the public on Thursday.

ROCA’s letter, addressed to chairman Leo S. Ullman of Cedar Shopping Centers, says that analyses by prominent analysts indicate that the net asset value of the REIT’s holdings are almost 50% higher than recent share prices. Additionally, Cedar’s FFO multiple is “among the lowest of all equity REITs,” the letter says.

“In our opinion the public markets either do not understand (Cedar) or have lost patience trying. Regardless, we strongly feel that it is time for a change,” the ROCA letter states.

Cedar executives could not be reached for comment on the letter, which marks one of three times recently that ROCA has notified a REIT that it considers the REIT’s shares to be undervalued and has suggested steps to correct the situation. The others included a letter to Great Neck, NY-based One Liberty Properties and a letter to Columbus, OH-based Glimcher Realty Trust.

ROCA’s letter to One Liberty suggested that the REIT should immediately increase its dividend and that it should take steps to reduce overhead. If the company’s share price doesn’t improve satisfactorily by June 30, the ROCA letter said, One Liberty should “engage the services of an investment banker to explore strategic alternatives to maximize stockholder value, including the sale, merger or outright liquidation of the company.” ROCA owns 5.6% of One Liberty’s stock, according to ROCA’s recent public filings.

In its letter to Glimcher, ROCA says that its analysis shows that Glimcher “is, in reality, two separate businesses,” consisting of a portfolio of market-dominant properties and a portfolio composed of the balance of Glimcher’s properties, which ROCA calls “Portfolio B.” ROCA says that Portfolio B drags down Glimcher’s value and recommends that the REIT “sell Portfolio B and use the resultant net proceeds to de-lever the company’s balance sheet.”

ROCA owns about 1.3% of Glimcher’s shares, according to a statement by the Newport Beach-based investment fund. ROCA also previously owned a significant stake in America First Apartment Investors, an Omaha-based REIT that was taken private by New York City-based Sentinel Real Estate Corp. late last year in a $532 million buyout.

Hofer tells GlobeSt.com that he and Wirta, who are also partners in a web-based real estate investment vehicle called Nexregen, established ROCA two years ago. In addition to Cedar, One Liberty and Glimcher, ROCA is also looking at investments in real estate operating companies, home builders and mortgage REITs, Hofer says.

Officials of Cedar could not be reached for comment Thursday. The REIT, which owns and operates 118 properties totaling more than 12 million sf, focuses on supermarket-anchored shopping centers in nine mid-Atlantic and New England states. It also owns a substantial pipeline of development properties as well as approximately 226 acres in primarily unimproved development parcels.

One Liberty owns and manages a portfolio of retail, industrial, office, health and fitness and other properties. ROCA’s letter to One Liberty described the REIT’s holdings as “an outstanding portfolio of net leased properties, with diversity in product type and location,” but it said that ROCA’s market research showed that, in the aggregate, the stock price does not reflect the value of those properties. Glimcher owns and/or manages a total of 28 properties in 14 states aggregating approximately 23.4 million sf of gross leasable area, among them 24 enclosed regional or super-regional malls aggregating 22.4 million sf.

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