Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Debts of the Spenders: CRE REIT Bond Buyback Arbitrage

In the race to shed debt, several real-estate investment trusts have come up with a new approach: They are buying back their public bonds at steep discounts.

While bond buybacks are just one of many deleveraging methods REITs are pursuing, analysts said the bond buying can provide the biggest impact per dollar. "If the bond market perceives that there is high credit risk and they're willing to sell bonds back to the company at 50% of face value, then the company can use $1 to retire $2 of debt," said David Loeb, a REIT analyst with R.W. Baird & Co.


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