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CHICAGO-First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. has announced more personnel changes and cuts, less than two months after the former CEO and president resigned and 120 employees were laid off. The changes are being made in hopes of better aligning the company’s expenses with its revenues in a turbulent economy, according to a statement by the trust. The company said further layoffs will be made in corporate and regional office staffing. A trust spokesman could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.

“While the associated organizational changes are not easy, by reducing costs, we are enhancing our overall competitiveness now and for the future,” said Ed Tyler, interim CEO. Other cost-cuts will come from the elimination of the REIT’s European operations. The move comes after the company announced earlier this year its plans to extend its presence further into European markets, which included the opening of offices in Paris and Dusseldorf.

The company has also announced the resignation of former CFO Mike Havala, who had been with the company for nearly two decades. Scott Musil, formerly the chief accounting officer, has been named Havala’s successor. Musil has been with First Industrial since 1995, overseeing its public and joint venture accounting, tax, credit and treasury functions.

Former CEO Michael Brennan resigned in late October following a decision by the company’s Board of Directors. Brennan had been with the REIT since its creation in 1994. Jay H. Shidler, chairman of the Board, said in the statement that the company decided to replace Brennan as CEO because they believe the move could improve the company’s performance.

In conjunction with the severance and other costs associated with the recent layoffs, the company expects it will record a charge between $27 million and $28 million, about $18 million of which is cash and $9 million with non-cash. The company will update its guidance range for 2008 FFO per share/unit to $2.68 to $2.88 and $1.13 to $1.33 for EPS, as a result of the cost-cuts. The trust stock price, which in September was around $30 a share, closed Wednesday at $7.84 a share, up more than 2% for the day.

“A number of factors could impact our ability to deliver results in line with our assumptions underlying our updated guidance, such as interest rates, the economies of the US and Canada, the supply and demand of industrial real estate, the availability and terms of financing to potential acquirers of real estate, the timing and yields for divestment and investment, and numerous other variables,” Tyler said. “There can be no assurance that First Industrial can achieve such results.”

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