CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Equity Commonwealth (NYSE: EQC) today announced that it has completed the sale of 13 properties comprising 3.4 million square feet, for a combined sales price of $260.9 million, in three separate transactions. The company also announced that its Board of Trustees authorized the repurchase of up to an additional $100 million of its outstanding common shares under its share repurchase program.
The company sold an 11-property portfolio of small office assets totaling 2.0 million square feet in upstate New York for a gross sales price of $104.6 million. As of June 30, 2015, the upstate New York portfolio was 79.8% leased.
The company sold an 868,000 square foot office property at 185 Asylum Street in Hartford, CT for a gross sale price of $113.3 million. As of June 30, 2015, the property was 98.7% leased.
The company completed the sale of a property located at 16th and Race in Philadelphia, PA for a gross sale price of $43.0 million. The 609,000 square foot vacant property was designated as held for sale at the end of the second quarter 2015.
Year-to-date, the company has sold $1.7 billion of assets, comprising 82 properties and 16.4 million square feet. The company is currently in various stages of marketing nine office properties totaling 2.6 million square feet.
Additional detail regarding the properties sold is available on the Investor Relations section of the company’s website, www.eqcre.com, and is dated September 14, 2015.
Common Share Buyback
The Board of Trustees increased the company’s existing share repurchase program by $100 million, bringing the company’s total authorization to $200 million. The company has repurchased 3,410,300 shares of its common stock at an average price of $25.76 per share for a total investment of $87.8 million. The company currently has $112.2 million available for future share repurchases. Repurchases under the new $100 million authorization may be made over the next 12 months.
Purchases made pursuant to the program will be made from time to time in the open market, in privately negotiated transactions or in other manners as permitted by federal securities laws and other legal requirements. The timing, manner, price and amount of any repurchases will be determined by the company in its discretion and will be subject to economic and market conditions, stock price, applicable legal requirements and other factors. The program may be suspended or discontinued at any time.
About Equity Commonwealth
Equity Commonwealth (NYSE: EQC) is an internally managed and self-advised real estate investment trust (REIT). EQC has a national portfolio of 74 properties comprising 26.6 million square feet with executive offices in Chicago, IL.
Some of the statements contained in this press release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including, but not limited to, statements regarding marketing the company’s properties for sale, de-levering the balance sheet, consummating asset sales, and identifying future investment opportunities. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release are intended to be made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements relate to expectations, beliefs, projections, future plans and strategies, anticipated events or trends and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” or “potential” or the negative of these words and phrases or similar words or phrases which are predictions of or indicate future events or trends and which do not relate solely to historical matters. You can also identify forward-looking statements by discussions of strategy, plans or intentions.
The forward-looking statements contained in this press release reflect the company’s current views about future events and are subject to numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and changes in circumstances that may cause the company’s actual results to differ significantly from those expressed in any forward-looking statement. We do not guarantee that the transactions and events described will happen as described (or that they will happen at all).
While forward-looking statements reflect the company’s good faith beliefs, they are not guarantees of future performance. We disclaim any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect changes in underlying assumptions or factors, of new information, data or methods, future events or other changes. For a further discussion of these and other factors that could cause the company’s future results to differ materially from any forward-looking statements, see the section entitled “Risk Factors” in the company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the company’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for subsequent quarters.