Mergers & Acquisitions and Commercial Real Estate and Public Companies and Simon Property Group and David Simon and Real Estate & Retail

Simon CEO: Mall owner has ‘firepower’ for deals

November 16, 2010
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Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc., the U.S. shopping-mall owner that paid $2.3 billion this year for an outlet-center business, has plenty of capital for more purchases, CEO David Simon said.

“We still have a significant amount of firepower to do value-added transactions for the company,” Simon said in a Tuesday webcast of the REITWorld conference hosted by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts in New York. “The one thing we will not do is do a deal just to do a deal.”

Simon Property, the largest owner of U.S. malls, bought Prime Outlets Acquisition Co. in August, expanding its outlet retail operation. The company had $1.3 billion of cash and $3 billion availability on a corporate credit line at Sept. 30.

Simon, 49, said the company will continue to use cash to reduce debt and has “a great growth trajectory, regardless of any external activities.” Earnings may reach a record next year, he said.

The company raised its profit forecast and increased its dividend this month.

Simon projects full-year funds from operations of $5.90 to $5.95 a share, compared with a previous forecast of no more than $5.87, the company said in a Nov. 1 earnings statement. The forecast excludes costs from debt repurchases in January and August. The landlord said it will pay a dividend of 80 cents a share in the fourth quarter, up from 60 cents.

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