SAN FRANCISCO-Apartment REIT BRE Properties Inc. has priced an offering of seven million shares of common stock at $34.25 per share and could raise up to $275.7 million if underwriters exercise a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1.05 million shares of the stock, which would bring the offering to more than eight million shares. In its prospectus for the offering, BRE says that it expects to receive net proceeds of approximately $229.66 million after deducting underwriting discounts and estimated transaction expenses of approximately $10 million. BofA Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo Securities and J.P. Morgan are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering.

BRE, which recently acquired 194 apartment units at the 262-unit Monarch at Scripps Ranch in San Diego County, says it will use the proceeds of the stock sale for general corporate purposes, which include reducing borrowings under its unsecured revolving credit facility, and may also include “financing for acquisitions of rental properties, funding for development activity, the repayment of other indebtedness, and the redemption or other repurchase of outstanding debt or equity securities,” a statement by the REIT says.

In its acquisition of the Monarch at Scripps Ranch―which was an apartment-to-condominium conversion where 68 of the condos sold and the rest have reverted back to apartments―BRE said that it funded the $46.2 million acquisition with borrowings under its unsecured revolving line of credit. BRE has renamed the project Allure at Scripps Ranch, where the units range from one to three bedrooms, with rents starting at $1,370.

BRE reported in February that its year-over-year earnings and FFO results for 2009 reflected declines in the same-store property-level operating results, which were offset by income from recently developed properties, a lower interest rate environment and a reduction in corporate-level general and administrative expenses. FFO totaled $120.8 million and $2.23 per share for 2009, compared with $141.8 million and $2.69 per share for 2008. Net income for the 12-month period totaled $50.6 million and $0.95 per share, compared with $122.8 million, and $2.36 per share for 2008. Revenue for 2009 totaled $344.6 million, versus $345.3 million for 2008.

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