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CLEVELAND-During a special meeting held at the end of last week Developers Diversified Realty received shareholder approval to move forward with a deal that will sell Alexander Otto 30 million shares. The deal was first reported in Globest.com at the end of February.

“We are pleased with the confidence that our shareholders have shown in this strategic investment by the Otto Family,” says Scott Wolstein, DDR’s chairman and CEO, in a statement. “We currently expect the first tranche of 15 million shares to be sold to the Otto Family within the next several weeks, which will be concurrent with our closing on more than $120 million of new debt financing. The company has obtained commitments from lending relationships for new loans well in excess of the $112.5 million required as a condition to closing. All of these transactions are important steps in lowering our leverage and improving our liquidity, and we continue to work diligently on additional initiatives.”

Otto will be making the purchase with other members of his family. The Otto Family will purchase the shares in two sets. It will pay $3.50 per share for the first 15 million and then $4.00 for the second 15 million. The total purchase price is $112.5 million. After that the company has a five-year warrant to purchase an additional 10 million shares at $6.00 per share. If that were to go through, the Otto Family will pay $172.5 million.

Otto’s company, ECE Projektmanagement of Germany, is considered one of Europe’s leading developing and managing companies for inner-city shopping centers. Its portfolio includes 111 malls with nearly 37 million square feet of space.

DDR owns and manages more than 710 retail and development properties in 45 states as well as Puerto Rico, Brazil and Canada. It’s portfolio totals 157 million square feet of retail space.

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