Colonial Properties exits office joint venture

AP News
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Posted: Nov 30, 2009 6:07 PM

Colonial Properties Trust said Monday it exited a two-year-old joint venture, giving up a 15 percent stake in exchange for ownership of an office property.

The company said the move helped to simplify its business and eliminate near-term debt.

The joint venture with DRA Advisors LLC was formed in April 2007, when Colonial sold its interests in a series of office buildings to the joint venture and received the 15 percent stake. At the time, the REIT said the sales would let it focus on its apartments business. The amount exchanged in the transaction was not disclosed at the time.

In return for transferring its stake back to the joint venture plus a cash payment of $24.7 million, Colonial acquired full ownership of an 813,000-square-foot, Class A office building in Atlanta called Three Ravinia. It was also released from $141.1 million of mortgage debt, its share of the joint venture's debt. Also as part of the deal, the existing $106.3 million in debt on the Three Ravinia building was repaid and a $17 million loan guaranty provided by Colonial was terminated.

In total, Colonial made $131 million in cash payments through borrowings under its unsecured credit facility.

Colonial will continue to manage the remaining properties in the joint venture under existing agreements.

Shares of Colonial Properties Trust closed up 33 cents, or 3.2 percent, at $10.81.