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INDIANAPOLIS-Duke Realty Corp. has plans to sell 64 million shares of common stock. The underwriters have been given a 30-day option to purchase an additional 9.6 million shares. The money will be used to repay borrowings of its unsecured line of credit as well as general corporate purposes.

The prospectus has been filed with the Securities Exchange Commission and lists Merrill Lynch & Co., JP Morgan Securities Inc. and Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. as joint book-running managers.

Simultaneous with this announcement, Duke released its Q1 financial stats, in which it plans to cut dividends by 32%. During the first quarter, Duke completed $156 million of 10-year secured debt financing in order to pay down the unsecured line of credit. Additionally, Duke has started a term sheet for a $280 million seven-year secured loan and is considering additional secured debt financing to gain roughly $200 million.

Funds from operation are estimated to be between $0.49 and $0.51, which excludes $33.1 million of gains from the repurchase of the company’s unsecured bonds during this quarter. Q1 2008 FFO were $0.57. According to the release, “the projected decrease in FFO per share from the first quarter of 2008 is the result of a decrease in gains from sales of built-for-sale properties and land and lease termination fees.”

The Duke portfolio fell in occupancy during Q1 to 89.7%. This is a decrease from year-end 2008′s occupancy of 92.4%. According to company executives, “This decrease is attributable to the addition to the stabilized portfolio during the first quarter of 2009 of five recently developed properties aggregating 2.5 million square feet which were 49.2 percent leased at March 31, 2009, as well as to lease expirations during the first quarter of 2009.”

Duke owns and manages more than 135 million square feet throughout 20 cities in the US. The publicly traded company specializes in office, industrial and healthcare assets. Duke is headed by CEO Dennis Oklak.

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