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PASADENA, CA-Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc., a REIT that specializes in life sciences properties, has filed a registration statement for a stock offering of up to nearly $308 million, based on a registration of more than eight million shares of stock at $38.25 per share. The new stock issue includes seven million shares in a primary offering and more than one million shares for an overallotment. The Pasadena-based company expects to receive approximately $255.6 million in net proceeds after expenses for the primary offering, or approximately $294.1 million if the underwriters’ overallotment option is exercised in full.

Alexandria plans to initially use the net proceeds from the offering to reduce the outstanding balance on its unsecured line of credit. The company currently anticipates that it will then borrow funds under its unsecured line of credit to pay down $25 million of its senior secured term loan.

Alexandria operates in a specialty niche, life sciences space, that has maintained its momentum better than the general office sector in the economic downturn. In the company’s latest earnings conference call, for example, it reported that it had posted positive growth for the 45th quarter in a row with both occupancy and rental rate growth. Alexandria’s portfolio upticked to 95.6% occupied from 95% in the previous quarter despite what was a generally downward trend in occupancy across the portfolios of many if not most office building owners.

As of Dec. 31, its latest reporting period, Alexandria had approximately 12.6 million square feet of space in its portfolio. Its 159 properties include 155 in leading life sciences markets in 10 US states and the remaining four in Canada. It leases primarily to institutional tenants such as universities and independent not-for-profit institutions, pharmaceutical firms, biotechnology and medical device companies and government agencies.

The REIT’s 12.6 million square feet of properties included more than 11.7 million rentable square feet, plus five parcels of land totaling 875,000 square feet that were under development as office/laboratory space. In addition, its asset base includes ground-up development opportunities for approximately 9.6 million square feet of office/laboratory space and opportunities for redevelopment of approximately 1.6 million square feet.

The Alexandria offering is being managed by Merrill Lynch & Co., Citi and J.P. Morgan acted as joint book-running managers, with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Scotia Capital as co-managers. Alexandria has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase the more than one million shares of the overallotment.

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