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ATLANTA-Locally based Cousins Properties Inc. plans to repurchase up to $20 million of its Series A and B cumulative redeemable preferred stock over the next six months. The shares may be bought on the open market or in negotiated and block transactions through May 9, 2009.

Last week, Cousins posted favorable funds from operations through the first nine months of 2008 at $50.9 million, including $20.9 million in the third quarter, nearly triple the FFO from the same period last year. The quarterly highlights included the $30.3-million sale of 120 remaining residential units at the 54-story 50 Biscayne condominium tower in Miami, a joint venture of Cousins and Miami-based Related Group.

In other company news, Cousins announced this week the retirement of Joel Murphy, executive vice president and chief leasing and asset management officer, at the end of this year. Murphy, who will serve as a consultant to Cousins starting in 2009, has been with the company since 1988 and previously served as senior vice president and president of its retail division.

“After 20 years I feel it is time for me to step back and explore the possibilities that lie ahead for the remainder of my professional career,” Murphy stated in a release. “Cousins has a talented and deep management team in place with my group and the company, and I have the greatest confidence in their continued success.”

Cousins, a diversified real estate company, has developed 20 million square feet of office space, 20 million square feet of retail, more than 4,000 multifamily units and at least 60 single-family neighborhoods. The company is observing its 50th anniversary this year.

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