DRA Advisors Completes Merger with Inland

Inland Real Estate Corp. is now IRC Retail Centers Inc., following the company's $2.3 billion merger with DRA Advisors LLC.

By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor

Mark Zalatoris, IRC Retail Centers
Mark Zalatoris, IRC Retail Centers

New York—Following the approval by Inland Real Estate Corp.’s stockholders last week, funds managed by DRA Advisors LLC have acquired the company for approximately $2.3 billion, and the new company will now be known as IRC Retail Centers Inc.

“In the public arena, we were on kind of the small side and the competition for appropriately priced capital was very tough for us and we felt we had a better opportunity with a well-capitalized institutional investor like DRA and its fund,” Mark Zalatoris, IRC Retail Centers president & chief executive officer, told Commercial Property Executive. “It allows us to continue to grow our platform and take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace that probably our existing standing was prohibiting us from making some of those investments make sense.”

As a result of the merger’s completion, Inland’s common stock and preferred stock are no longer listed for trading on the New York Stock Exchange or any other exchange and trading ceased at the close of the markets on March 30.

According to Zalatoris, there’s a large amount of institutional capital out there looking for good quality platforms to not only operate the existing portfolio but to grow the portfolio.

“That was attractive to us,” he said. “We carefully considered the opportunities out there and vetted some of the investors and we felt the best fit was with DRA Advisors.”

IRC Retail Centers also introduced a new tagline: “Focused on Retail. Centered on Value,” which reinforces its emphasis on retail and its ability to offer tenants prime shopping center locations that feature an optimal merchandise mix of value and necessity-oriented retailers.

While it may have a new name, IRC Retail Centers will continue focusing on owning, operating, acquiring and developing open-air retail properties. Currently, the company has ownership interest in more than 130 properties totaling approximately 15.4 million square feet of leasable space, all located in well-established markets primarily in the Central and Southeastern United States.

“We’re going to continue to focus on what we do best. We’ve embarked on expansion into the Southeast and we have a development partner based in North Carolina doing grocery-anchored development there and I think we will expand that platform and take advantage of the under-grocered areas we see out there with high-quality grocers,” Zalatoris said. “We will also continue to expand our footprint in the Midwest. The DRA folks are very pleased with our dominance in the Chicago and Minneapolis areas, and we will keep the same business plan going forward, but maybe with a sense of a more robust pace.”