Shopping mall giant Simon Property
Group Inc. plans to sell another 14 million shares of common stock to raise
money for “general corporate purposes” in a new attempt to shore up its balance
sheet, the company said yesterday.
The Indianapolis-based real estate
investment trust did not set a price for the offering, which will dilute the value
of Simon’s existing 231 million shares. Based on yesterday’s closing price of $54.84
per share, the offering would raise more than $767 million.
Lynch & Co., J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. and Morgan Stanley will manage the
share sale, the company said. Simon expects to grant the underwriters an
overallotment option to purchase 2.1 million additional shares.
The move is just the most recent
attempt to improve the company’s balance sheet during a tough time for real
estate developers. Earlier this month, the company reduced its dividend to from
90 cents to 60 cents per share. It now pays the dividend mostly in new shares,
not cash, a decision also designed to preserve liquidity.
Simon sold 17.3 million shares in a common stock offering
in March, raising $543.4 million. It also completed a $650 million debt sale
earlier in the first quarter.
Simon’s stock price rose
$4.72, or 9.4 percent, yesterday, up 5.7 percent on the year.