Wednesday, May 6, 2009

D.R. Horton Plans to Sell $400M in Convertible Senior Notes to Ease $3B Debt Load

FORT WORTH, TX—D.R. Horton Inc., which calls itself the largest homebuilder in the U.S., could be staring at voluntary bankruptcy protection before the year is out, according to industry sources in a position to know.

Their most recent evaluation of the 31-year-old, Fort Worth, TX-based company comes as the builder announces plans to offer and sell $400 million in convertible Senior Notes.

Citi of New York is handling the sale. The notes would be due in 2014.
In a prepared statement today, D.R. Horton says it plans to grant the underwriters of the notes an option to purchase up to an additional $60 million aggregate principal amount of notes solely to cover over-allotments, if any.

The company says it will use the net proceeds of the offering for general corporate purposes, including repayment or repurchase of outstanding indebtedness.
D.R. Horton in 2008 reported a net income loss of $2.633 billion. In 2007, the loss was $712.5 million. The company faces repayment of about $3 billion in loans due in 2010. About a half billion is now due but could be extended at current terms, according to previous company statements.

The new notes would be general unsecured senior obligations of D.R. Horton, Inc., guaranteed by the subsidiaries that currently guarantee the company’s outstanding public debt.

The notes would pay interest semi-annually at a fixed rate, and would be convertible at any time prior to the close of business on the second trading day preceding the maturity date.

Upon conversion, holders of the notes would receive, at the election of the company, cash, shares of D.R. Horton, Inc.’s common stock or a combination of cash and shares.
Holders of the notes would also have the right to require the company to repurchase for cash all or some of their notes “upon the occurrence of certain fundamental change events,” according to the company’s statement.

The interest rate, conversion rate and other terms of the notes are to be determined by negotiations between the company and the underwriters.

The company’s common stock was trading today at $10.88, down $1.47 from yesterday.

D.R. Horton says it delivered more than 26,000 homes in its fiscal year ended September 30, 2008. Founded in 1978 in Fort Worth, D.R. Horton has operations in 77 markets in 27 states in the East, Midwest, Southeast, South Central, Southwest and West regions of the United States.

The Company is engaged in the construction and sale of high quality homes with sales prices ranging from $90,000 to over $900,000. D.R. Horton also provides mortgage financing and title services for homebuyers through its mortgage and title subsidiaries.

EastGroup Properties Announces Closing of $67M Loan

JACKSON, MS, May 6, 2009– EastGroup Properties (NYSE-EGP) today announced the closing of a $67 million limited recourse mortgage loan discussed in the first quarter earnings press release.

The note has a fixed interest rate of 7.5%, 20-year amortization schedule, a 10-year term and is secured by properties containing 1.7 million square feet.

The proceeds were used to reduce variable rate bank borrowings to approximately $98 million as of May 6, 2009.

EastGroup Properties, Inc. is a self-administered equity real estate investment trust focused on the development, acquisition and operation of industrial properties in major Sunbelt markets throughout the United States with an emphasis in the states of Florida, Texas, Arizona and California.

Its strategy for growth is based on its property portfolio orientation toward premier business distribution facilities clustered near major transportation features. EastGroup's portfolio currently includes 27 million square feet.

Contact: David H. Hoster II, (top left photo) President and Chief Executive Officer or N. Keith McKey, Chief Financial Officer(601) 354-3555

J.W. Marriott, Jr. Wins Cornell Icon of the Industry Award

White Lodging is Title Sponsor; Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' to Co-emcee Special Awards Dinner

NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, May 6, 2009 /PRNewswire/ -- Cornell University School of Hotel Administration has announced that its dinner, honoring J.W. "Bill" Marriott, Jr. (top right photo) as the winner of the Cornell Icon of the Industry Award, now features White Lodging as the title sponsor of the event.

The award honors J.W. "Bill" Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, Marriott International, Inc. for his transformational leadership and lifetime achievements.

The special event will become an annual gathering of the world's most influential hoteliers to raise funds in support of Cornell University School of Hotel Administration scholarships and programs.

The event will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner and an awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on June 2, 2009, at the New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway, New York, NY.

In addition, Michael D. Johnson, (top left photo) Dean of the School, announced that Joe Scarborough (middle right photo) and Mika Brzezinski, (middle left photo) of MSNBC's Morning Joe and ABC News Radio's "The Joe Scarborough Show," will be the masters of ceremonies.

Johnson stated, "We are delighted that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, exemplary members of the national media, are partnering with us on this event."

"The name Bill Marriott has been synonymous with hospitality, innovation, quality and integrity for more than five decades, and I cannot think of a more deserving inaugural recipient of this prestigious award than Bill," said Bruce White, (bottom right photo under Joe Scarborough photo) White Lodging CEO, who will co-present the award with Dean Johnson.

"Bill has been a lifelong leader in the hospitality industry and has contributed vast amounts of time and resources to civic and philanthropic organizations. He has grown Marriott International from a family restaurant business into a global lodging company with more than 3,100 properties in 66 countries and territories."

Joe Scarborough is host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, a popular morning news show which features interviews with key newsmakers and politicians and in-depth analysis of top news stories.

Scarborough also anchors "The Joe Scarborough Show" on ABC News Radio. He is the former host of MSNBC's Scarborough Country and was the publisher and editor of The Florida Sun.

Scarborough served as a member of Congress between 1994 and 2001 where he was a member of the Judiciary and the Armed Services Committees. He was named by President Bush to the President's Council on the 21st Century Workforce, where he served with Labor Secretary Chao, national labor officials and business leaders.

Co-emcee Mika Brzezinski is co-host of Morning Joe and "The Joe Scarborough Show." Previously, Brzezinski was an anchor for CBS News Up To The Minute. During the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, she served as principal "Ground Zero" reporter. In addition, Brzezinski was an anchor for CBS Evening News Weekend Edition, and contributed to CBS Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes.

A special logo to commemorate the award, prominently featuring the pineapple, the universal symbol of hospitality, in the center of the Cornell shield, was created by Ypartnership, the marketing services firm headed by Cornell alumnus Dr. Peter C. Yesawich, (bottom left photo under Mika Brzezinski photo) '72, MS '74, Ph.D. '76.

The event already has attracted more than 40 sponsors and 350 attendees, according to Jon Denison, (bottom right photo) Associate Dean of External Affairs, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.

"Having one of the industry's premier owner/operators, Bruce White, help us honor J.W. 'Bill' Marriott, Jr., with the first Cornell Icon of the Industry Award sets a high standard for what we expect to become one of the hotel industry's premier annual events," says Denison.

To RSVP, please contact Ashlee Mills at Admission prices are $500 for Provost tickets; $250 for Dean's; and $195 for Cornell Young Alumni Limited Seating.

Interested sponsors may contact Joe Strodel, Jr., director of corporate & foundation affairs at

For additional information, please go to the event's official Web site:

About the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration

(Statler Hall, Cornell University, bottom left photo)

The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration is shaping the global knowledge base for hospitality management through leadership in education, research and industry advancement.

The School provides management instruction in the full range of hospitality disciplines, educating the next generation of leaders in the world's largest industry.

Founded in 1922 as the nation's first collegiate course of study in hospitality management, the Cornell Hotel School is recognized as the world leader in its field.

For more information, visit

Contact: Jerry Daly, Chris Daly, Daly Gray Public Relations, (703) 435-6293

Grubb & Ellis Realty Investors Names Mathieu Streiff, Senior Vice President, Investment Operations

SANTA ANA, CA– Grubb & Ellis Realty Investors LLC, the real estate investment and asset management subsidiary of Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), announced that Mathieu Streiff (top right photo) has been appointed to the newly created position of senior vice president, investment operations. Streiff will also continue in his role as the firm’s chief real estate counsel.

As senior vice president, investment operations, Streiff plays a key role in the development of new investment platforms and in the structuring and strategic management of securitized real estate investment offerings sponsored by Grubb & Ellis Realty Investors.

“Mat has demonstrated exceptional judgment and expertise during his tenure at Grubb & Ellis Realty Investors,” said Jeff Hanson, (bottom left photo) president and chief investment officer of Grubb & Ellis Realty Investors. “He is a keen intellect and one of our most important senior executives.”

Streiff joined Grubb & Ellis Realty Investors in 2006 and has since provided in-house legal advice for property acquisitions, financings, management and dispositions. He has extensive experience negotiating complex commercial real estate transactions, both with Grubb & Ellis Realty Investors and during his time as an associate in the real estate department of Latham & Watkins LLP in New York.

Streiff received a juris doctorate from Columbia University Law School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association.

Contact: Damon Elder, 714.975.2659,

Interstate Hotels & Resorts Reports First-Quarter 2009 Results

ARLINGTON, VA, May 6, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Interstate Hotels &Resorts (OTC Bulletin Board: IHRI), a leading hotel real estate investor and the nation's largest independent hotel management company, today reported operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009.

(1) Total revenue excludes other revenue from managed properties (reimbursable costs).

(2) Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted net loss and Adjusted diluted EPS are non-GAAP financial measures and should not be considered as an alternative to any measures of operating results under GAAP.

(3) Includes the company's share of adjusted EBITDA from investments in unconsolidated entities in the amounts of $1.2 million and $1.6 million in the first quarter of 2009 and 2008, respectively.

(4) The first quarter 2009 results include a $0.8 million charge for restructuring primarily related to severance costs as a part of the company's 2009 cost reduction program, and $8.9 million of tax expense relating to the company's global tax planning strategy. These charges are excluded from the calculation of Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted net loss and Adjusted diluted EPS.

(5) The first quarter 2008 results include (i) a $2.4 million gain on the sale of the Doral Tesoro Hotel & Golf Club, and (ii) $1.1 million of write-offs of intangible assets related to the sale of certain hotels in 2008. Each of these items has been excluded from the calculation of Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted net loss and Adjusted diluted EPS.

"The first quarter was an extremely difficult operating period, a trend that we anticipate will continue through most of 2009, and possibly into 2010," said Thomas F. Hewitt, (top right photo) chief executive officer. "While our visibility remains limited, we expect to see the decline in RevPAR begin to moderate in the second half of the year."

For a complete copy of the company's news release and its financials, please contact:
Julie Tullbane, Daly Gray Public Relations, T 703-435-6293, F 703-435-6297,

HFF secures $16.5M financing for office buildings in Boston’s Financial District

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford and Boston offices of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that they have secured $16.5 million in financing for 24 Federal Street and 3 Post Office Square, (above centered photo) office buildings totaling 139,473 square feet in Boston’s Financial District.

Working exclusively on behalf of Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC, HFF senior managing director Dana Brome (top right photo) placed the four-year fixed-rate loan with Ocean Bank, a division of People’s United Bank, to refinance an existing mortgage, which became due.

Located adjacent to Post Office Square, 24 Federal Street and 3 Post Office Square offer tenants access to public transportation at South Station, Downtown Crossing and Park Street Stations as well as Interstate 93, the Massachusetts Turnpike and the Ted Williams Tunnel.

24 Federal Street has 12 stories with 74,406 square feet and 3 Post Office Square has 65,067 square feet in 11 stories.

Both properties have ground floor retail space and are 93.5% occupied by tenants including BancWare, CVS, Dunkin Donuts, Century Bank and TD Ameritrade.

“The buildings are positioned in one of the most sought after areas in the Financial District – Post Office Square.
This location provides easy access to Downtown Crossing, Faneuil Hall, (top left photo) City Hall and Boston’s waterfront (bottom right photo) as well as several commuting options such as the MBTA red, green and orange lines at a variety of stops,” said Brome.

Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC provides private real estate equity investment management services for its parent corporation, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and tax-exempt and taxable institutions.

HFF (NYSE: HF) operates out of 17 offices nationwide and is a leading provider of commercial real estate and capital markets services to the U.S. commercial real estate industry.

HFF offers clients a fully integrated national capital markets platform including debt placement, investment sales, structured finance, private equity, loan sales and commercial loan servicing.

DANA E. BROME, HFF Senior Managing Director, (860) 275-6198,
KRISTEN M. MURPHY, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500

Economy/Credit Market Meltdown Take Toll on Hotel Real Estate Sales in 2008

KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 6, 2009—Officials of Hotel Brokers International (HBI), the nation’s largest brokerage organization with more than 30 offices coast to coast, today released its TransActions Recap 2009, a comprehensive report on hotel real estate activity for 2008 and the organization’s forecast for 2009.

As a result of a deepening recession and hobbled credit markets, hotel transaction dollar volume in 2008 plunged 55 percent to $9.9 billion from $21.9 billion in 2007.

HBI believes the downtrend will continue in 2009, although volume in the second half should improve, due to pent-up demand and as commercial lending begins to respond to government stimulus efforts.

The 115-page publication, detailing more than 3,000 hotel transactions over the last five years, is available from HBI for $200.

“We believe these have been the most challenging conditions in our 50-year history, with the late 80’s/early ‘90’s a close second,” said Jeff Westgor, (top left photo) CHB, president, Westgor & Associates, Minneapolis, and president of HBI.

“Overall, the number of hotel transactions in 2008 was at its lowest level in five years.

"The one-two punch of a severe economic recession and a dysfunctional credit market, suffering from the disappearance of CMBS debt, has had a major impact on our industry, which previously had experienced five years of significant increases fueled by easy access to capital and the growth of RevPAR and earnings.”

(The Hilton Oak Lawn (top right photo) is a 12-story, 184-room hotel and conference center located three miles south of Chicago's Midway Airport. The hotel sold in January 2008 for about $100,000 per room. Donohoe Real Estate Services, Washington, DC, brokered the sale.)

Credit Crunch Biggest Impact on Transactions
Westgor added that the credit crunch had the biggest impact in 2008 on larger dollar transactions, those over $10 million.
According to HBI recorded data, sales of upscale and luxury hotels were off 57 percent, while sales of economy and mid-market properties, which account for the lion’s share of HBI transactions, remained relatively stable, down 11.2 percent.

Westgor noted that financing became significantly more difficult to obtain by mid-summer last year.
According to a recent HBI lending survey, by year-end 2008, some 75 percent of lenders said that they had reduced the number of hospitality loans underwritten.
With the capital markets seizing up, sales in the second half of 2008 declined by 24 percent, with upscale and luxury hotel sales falling 44 percent compared to economy and mid-market sales, which were off 11 percent in the second half.

For the full year, HBI recorded 481 hotel sales industry-wide, down 35 percent compared to 736 transactions in 2007. The average hotel sold had 146 rooms and sold for a price per room of $99,000, a 15 percent decline from 2007, driven primarily by a lower average price per room for upscale and luxury hotels.
The economy and mid-market hotels’ price per room held up, posting a slight increase from $42,000 in 2007 to $44,000 in 2008.

Sales of mid-market properties accounted for nearly 50 percent of all hotel transactions in 2008.
The most popular hotel segment among buyers was select-service without food and beverage, with 140 transactions, led by a high demand for brands such as Hampton Inn, Comfort Inn and Holiday Inn Express. Upscale with restaurants was the second most preferred segment at 112 transactions, with Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn and Hilton Garden Inn heading the list.

Glenda Webb, Hotel Brokers International, (816) 505-4315
Melanie Boyer, Daly Gray Public Relations, (703) 435-6293

Lodgian Reports 2009 First Quarter Results

ATLANTA, GA, May 6, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lodgian, Inc. (NYSE Alternext US: LGN), one of the nation's largest independent hotel owners and operators, today reported results for the 2009 first quarter ended March 31, 2009.

First quarter 2009 total revenue for continuing operations declined 15.2 percent to $49.2 million, compared to the same 2008 period.

During the 2009 first quarter, the displacement of total revenue resulting from renovations at three properties was $0.7 million, compared to $0.9 million in the 2008 first quarter.

Loss from continuing operations was $(6.1) million in the 2009 first quarter, compared to $(6.0) million in the 2008 first quarter.

Net loss attributable to common shares was $(6.9) million, or $(0.32) per diluted share in the 2009 first quarter, compared to a net loss of $(7.5) million, or $(0.33) per diluted share in the 2008 first quarter.

EBITDA from continuing operations was flat to the prior year's first quarter at $6.3 million.

Adjusted EBITDA for the same group of properties decreased 18.8 percent, from $8.5 million in the 2008 first quarter to $6.9 million in the 2009 first quarter.

Adjusted EBITDA margins for the continuing operations hotels decreased by 60 basis points to 14.0 percent during the 2009 first quarter compared to the 2008 first quarter, due to lower revenues.

"Our hotels fared reasonably well in a poor market in January and February, posting RevPAR index increases in each of those two months, giving us 10 consecutive months of improvement," said Peter Cyrus, Lodgian interim president and chief executive officer.

"Discount pricing intensified in March, resulting in a relatively flat RevPAR Index for the quarter, off just 20 basis points compared to the 2008 first quarter," he said.
"We continue to be very focused on cost control and revenue improvement. In the first quarter, we reduced total rooms payroll by over 10 percent and increased our food and beverage margins by 260 basis points," he said.

"We have renegotiated pricing with numerous vendors at both the corporate and property levels and are beginning to see the benefits of those efforts."

CONTACT: Debi Neary Ethridge, Vice President, Finance & Investor Relations of Lodgian, Inc., +1-404-365-2719,

Cousins Properties Reports Results for Quarter Ended March 31, 2009

ATLANTA--Cousins Properties Incorporated (NYSE:CUZ) reported its results of operations for the quarter ended March 31, 2009.

All per share amounts are reported on a diluted basis; basic per share data is included in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income accompanying this release.
Funds from Operations Available to Common Stockholders (“FFO”) was $7.6 million, or $0.15 per share, for the first quarter of 2009 compared with FFO of $13.8 million, or $0.27 per share, for the first quarter of 2008.

Net Income Available to Common Stockholders (“Net Income Available”) was $160.6 million, or $3.13 per share, compared with Net Income Available of $1.8 million, or $0.04 per share, for the first quarter of 2008.

First quarter highlights of the Company included the following:

As a result of a distribution from the venture to the partners, recognized approximately $167 million of deferred gain related to the June 2006 Avenue Fund transaction with Prudential.

Sold a ground-leased outparcel at The Avenue Webb Gin (top left photo) for approximately $1.8 million, generating pre-tax FFO of approximately $582,000.

Executed or renewed leases covering approximately 80,000 square feet of office space and 72,000 square feet of retail space.

Other highlights subsequent to quarter end included the following:

In April 2009, repaid in full the $83.3 million mortgage note payable secured by the San Jose MarketCenter for approximately $70 million.
The Company anticipates recognizing a gain on extinguishment of this debt of approximately $12.7 million in the second quarter of 2009.

Executed a 50,000 square foot lease with Firethorn Holdings, LLC in Terminus 200, (bottom right photo) a 25-story office building under construction at the Company’s Terminus development in Atlanta, Georgia.
At March 31, 2009, the Company’s portfolio of operational office buildings was 90% leased, its portfolio of operational retail centers was 83% leased and its operational industrial buildings were 40% leased.

“In an extremely challenging leasing environment, our leasing team made good progress during the first quarter, leasing new space and renewing existing space,” said Tom Bell, (top right photo) Chairman and CEO of Cousins.
“Our recently executed lease of two floors at Terminus 200 provides an encouraging start to the leasing of this asset.
" Equally encouraging was the purchase of our San Jose MarketCenter note at 84 cents on the dollar, which is a testament to our ability to put our strong balance sheet to work in this environment.
"We will continue to seek other opportunities that emerge while focusing on maintaining and strengthening our existing assets.”

James A. Fleming, 404-407-1150, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer,
Cameron Golden, 404-407-1984, Director of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications,