Value Creation in REIT Property Sell-Offs
14 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2006
We examine major sales of real property by public U.S. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) 1992-2002. We find that abnormal shareholder returns are significantly positive, a result that is consistent with findings for conventional firms that sell off real estate. Because REITs do not pay taxes, this finding supports the view that abnormal returns in real estate sell-offs by all types of firms are derived largely from asset allocation efficiencies and do not result exclusively from tax benefits. Shareholder returns are lower in sell-offs motivated by a desire to reduce long-term debt, as is consistent with financial theory regarding the information content of leverage decisions. Returns are inversely related to the firm's operating performance prior to the sell-off announcement, further supporting the case that improved asset efficiencies create value in real estate sell-offs.
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