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Brixmor Property group, a US real estate investment trust (REIT) that invests in shopping centers across the United States, on October 30th raised US$825 million in an initial public offering of its shares, selling 41.3 million shares that were priced at US$20 per share. Today the shares are trading at the time of writing at US$20.50, gaining slightly on the issue price.
The Underwriters for the transaction, which was led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, also have an overallotment of an additional 6.2 million shares they can purchase. If they do that will add a further US$124 million to the company’s treasury.
Brixmor was formerly known as the Centro Properties Group and was bought out by private equity group the Blackstone Group in 2011. After sprucing the company up with US$339 million of new investment Blackstone has now taken the company public, though continues to be the majority shareholder with a continuing approximately 73% stake.
At June 30th, 2013 Brixmor had a total of US$6.7 billion of debt, and the company indicates its use of proceeds for all the money it has just raised will be for the reduction of debt – and it should make quite a dent in fact.
The Brixmor deal is actually the second largest REIT IPO transaction so far this year, coming on the heels of the Malkins’ Empire State Realty Trust which raised a US$1 billion, and which effectively publicly listed the Empire State Building as a result together with several other properties the Malkin family of New York controlled.
According to its IPO documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Brixmor specializes in grocery-anchored community and neighbourhood shopping centres. Altogether it owns 522 of them with a total gross leasable area of 87 million square feet, of which 521 are wholly owned – something quite unusual in the real estate world where local joint ventures are actually the norm rather than the exception.