Wayne-Based Liberty Property Trust Baffles Investors, Analysts with Cheap Share Sale

Image via Liberty Property Trust.

Wayne-based Liberty Property Trust has left analysts and investors baffled with the low price it set on its recently sold new shares amid a commercial real estate boom, writes Joseph DiStefano for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Liberty raised $404 million last week by selling eight million new shares at $50.50 each. The company plans to use the funds to buy back $350 million worth of 4.75 percent bonds due next fall.

The sale price is in the range of where Liberty shares have been trading lately. However, Land & Buildings Investment Management, which owns around one percent of Liberty, complained that it is below the $60 a share that Liberty CEO Bill Hankowsky said they are worth.

It was also emphasized that, while buying down the bonds saves Liberty around $16 million in interest payments, it also costs shareholders more than $1 billion compared to a sale price of $60 per share.

“Liberty’s net asset value is in excess of $60 per share, which is 20 percent above the equity issuance price of $50.50 per share,” said Land & Buildings founder Jonathan Litt.

Read more about Liberty Property Trust in The Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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