Chambers Street Announces Planned NYSE Listing

Less than a month after telling shareholders it was exploring ways to provide a “liquidity event,” Chambers Street Properties made it official, announcing it intends to list its common shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
Jack Cuneo

By Gail Kalinoski, Contributing Editor

Less than a month after telling shareholders it was exploring ways to provide a “liquidity event,” Chambers Street Properties, a self-managed Maryland REIT, made it official Tuesday, announcing it intends to list its common shares on the New York Stock Exchange. The REIT said it expected to be trading on the NYSE under the ticker CSG on or by May 21.

The REIT, which has its headquarters in Princeton, N.J., also said it was planning a modified “Dutch Auction” tender offer to purchase as much as $125 million of its common shares. Chambers Street would select the lowest price within a range of $10.10 and $10.60. The tender offer will be paid for with funds from its unsecured revolving credit facility.

In an April 2 letter to stockholders, Chambers Street president & CEO Jack Cuneo said the firm had hired Wells Fargo Securities L.L.C. and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. as its financial advisors. He noted listing its shares on a national exchange was a possible outcome as it positioned itself for a “future liquidity event.”

The firm’s board of trustees deemed listing on the NYSE to be “in the best interest of the company and its shareholders,” according to a news release from Chambers Street Tuesday.

“Chambers Street believes that a listing will enable it to continue to execute its asset management, portfolio growth, and capital strategies designed to maximize shareholder value,” the release stated. “Publicly traded real estate companies have enjoyed strong returns in recent years, and companies that own net lease properties, similar to Chambers Street, are trading at attractive valuations. In addition, Chambers Street believes that a listing on the NYSE will provide access to additional potential investors as well as to a broader range of potential sources of capital.”

Because of the pending listing, Chambers Street officials could not comment beyond the firm’s news release.

The plan for public listing comes as the REIT has had a particularly active year since changing its name from CB Richard Ellis Realty Trust last June and moving to self-management. The REIT has about $3.2 billion in real estate holdings in the United States and abroad. It currently owns or has majority interests in 129 properties, mostly industrial and office assets, in 22 U.S. states, Germany and the United Kingdom. As of Dec. 31, 2012, the portfolio was 98 percent leased to 272 tenants, with diversity in locations, industries and lease expirations.

Two weeks ago, Chambers Street said Big O Development Inc., a major tenant at its Summit Distribution Center property in Salt Lake City, had signed a five-year lease renewal. An automotive tire distributor, Big O leases more than 100,000 feet of the 275,000-square-foot center, acquired in 2010 as part of a seven-property industrial portfolio.


Celebration Office Center, Orlando

Chambers Street has made four big acquisitions so far this year, including acquiring the remaining interests in 17 properties it owned in joint venture with Duke Realty Corp. The portfolio, which sold for a reported $98.6 million, comprised 16 office properties and one industrial asset, an 820,000-square-foot warehouse/distribution facility in Phoenix. The office properties included three buildings with a total of 542,000 square feet in Cincinnati and two buildings with a total of 451,000 square feet in Columbus. Other properties were located in Dallas; Fort Lauderdale; Houston; Minneapolis; Raleigh, N.C.; and two in Orlando  – Celebration Office Center and Northpoint III, with a total of 209,000 square feet.

In February, Chambers Street made its first acquisitions in the Philadelphia area, closing on two office buildings totaling 300,000 square feet in Malvern, Pa. The two buildings were developed by Chambers Street, then still known as CB Richard Ellis Realty Trust, and Trammell Crow, a CBRE Group subsidiary, in joint venture and leased to Endo Health Solutions.