Kite Realty raises $50M in stock offering

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Community shopping center developer Kite Realty Group Trust said today that it has raised about $50 million by selling stock, a move the company says positions it to pursue growth opportunities.

The offering met with strong demand from investors. The Indianapolis-based company sold 4.7 million shares, 1.7 million more than the minimum it hoped to sell.

Kite launched the offering even though its shares are trading for about half their level of a year ago. The stock fell 61 cents a share this morning to $10.39.

“We view this thing as a very good situation for the company,” CEO John Kite said. “It’s about being ready to take advantage of opportunities. We want to make sure we are well prepared for that.”

Coupled with a credit line and other sources of capital, Kite now has at least $100 million available to spend, Kite said.

The new capital is not intended for the $500 million of development projects Kite already has in its pipeline, he said.

The latest infusion brings to $450 million the amount of capital Kite has raised in three installments since it went public in 2004.

Kite isn’t the only real estate investment trust that’s going directly to investors for support.

Weingarten Realty Investors, a Houston-based REIT, said yesterday that it would sell 2.3 million shares to pay off debt. Equity One Inc., a REIT in North Miami Beach, Fla., said late last month that it would sell 2.2 million shares, also to pay off debt.

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