Duke paying special dividend after $2.8B divestiture

focus-briefs-duke-120417-15col.jpg Duke announced in May that it was selling its medical portfolio to refashion itself into a pure-play industrial real estate company. (IBJ file photo)

In the wake of selling its medical-office-building portfolio for $2.8 billion earlier this year, Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Investments Inc. is handing its shareholders an 85-cents-per-share special cash dividend.

Duke announced the dividend Nov. 21, which is payable Dec. 12 to shareholders of record on Dec. 1. The special payout will cost the company more than $302 million.

As a real estate investment trust, Duke is required to distribute most of its taxable earnings. The distribution helps Duke comply with REIT rules, CEO James Connor said in a statement, “but also rewards shareholders for a portion of the value created from the medical office portfolio sale.”

Even with the special dividend, Duke is holding onto a substantial portion of the sale proceeds to reinvest into its industrial properties and improve its balance sheet, Connor said.

Duke announced in May that it was selling its medical portfolio to Arizona-based Healthcare Trust of America Inc.—a move that was driven by Duke’s desire to refashion itself into a pure-play industrial real estate company. Toward that end, Duke in recent years also has unloaded its extensive office-park holdings.

The medical-office sale included 6.6 million square feet of space spread across 71 buildings that are in operation and five that are under construction. It also includes two buildings owned in joint ventures and 16.5 acres of land.•

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