Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cousins Properties Announces Results of Third Quarter Dividend Elections

ATLANTA -- Cousins Properties Incorporated (NYSE: CUZ) announced today the results of the shareholders’ elections relating to Cousins’ third quarter common stock dividend of $0.15 per share declared by its Board of Directors on July 15, 2009.

The dividend will consist of approximately $2,617,000 in cash and 676,000 shares of common stock.

 The amount of cash elected to be received was greater than the cash limit of 33.34% of the total value of the dividend or approximately $2,617,000, and therefore, shareholders who elected to receive all cash will receive a combination of cash and stock.

The number of shares included in the dividend is calculated based on the $7.73 average closing price per share of Cousins’ common stock on the New York Stock Exchange on September 3, September 4, and September 8, 2009. The dividend of $0.15 per share will be paid as follows:

---to shareholders electing to receive the dividend in all stock, Cousins will pay the entire dividend in common stock;

---to shareholders either electing to receive the dividend in all cash or failing to make an election, Cousins will pay the dividend in the form of $0.051 per share in cash and $0.099 per share in common stock; and Cousins will pay fractional shares in cash.

Registered shareholders with questions regarding the dividend election may call American Stock Transfer & Trust Co., Cousins’ transfer agent, at 1-800-937-5449. If your shares are held through a bank, broker or nominee and you have questions regarding the dividend election, please contact your bank, broker or nominee.
The issuance of approximately 676,000 shares of Cousins’ common stock pursuant to this dividend resulted in an effective increase of 1.3% in shares of common stock outstanding on the record date of August 3, 2009. Share and per share information will be adjusted in subsequent financial information, beginning with Cousins’ third quarter earnings release, to reflect this increase in shares of common stock.
Contact: Cameron Golden, 404-407-1984,

Fitch: Liquidity for U.S. Equity REITs Slowly on the Mend

Fitch Ratings-NY-11 September 2009: Access to unsecured debt is improving for U.S. equity REITs, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report.

Though concentrated among select issuers, the upswing has been taking place since the second quarter of this year. If more REITs are able to gain access to unsecured debt over time, Fitch may revise its Outlook on the U.S. equity REIT sector to Stable from Negative.

Given the demonstrated ability by many REITs to raise common equity through follow-on offerings coupled with unsecured bond issuance activity, Fitch’s rating actions over the near term will be driven by REITs’ liquidity positions along with other credit considerations collectively, as opposed to liquidity primarily.

‘Though liquidity may be more of a concern for certain REITs with more sizeable shortfalls, liquidity across the U.S. equity REIT sector is mproving modestly,’ said Steven Marks, (top right photo) Managing Director and U.S. REIT Group Head. ‘Maintaining a liquidity surplus remains a key factor for Fitch’s equity REIT ratings.’

REIT Unsecured bond issuance volume and terms have improved materially, with 62% of $6.7 billion in unsecured bond issuance year-to-date taking place after June 30, 2009.

Credit spreads over comparable treasuries on
such transactions narrowed by 235 basis points at issuance relative to transactions prior to June 30, 2009, enabling more opportunities for transactions acceptable to REITs.

Additionally, after June 30, 2009, REITs raised approximately $1.5 billion in equity offerings, bringing equity issuance across the sector to $14.4 billion year-to-date. ‘The market’s acceptance of these transactions has enabled REITs to reduce leverage, as well as strengthen liquidity,’ said Marks.

 ‘However, REITs may be reluctant to continue such issuance due to the impact of further dilution to the extent such offerings are more defensive or liquidity-enhancing, as opposed to acquisition-driven, which is a concern.’

The CMBS market faces continued challenges while pension funds, insurance companies and other secured lenders are reducing secured lending activity. Despite this, REITs continue to demonstrate access to the mortgage financing market.

While most REITs are refinancing mortgages on more onerous terms, secured lenders’ asset and sponsor selectivity has favored publicly-traded REITs’ portfolios. As such, Fitch has enhanced its approach towards analyzing REIT liquidity by including sensitivities addressing various scenarios of refinancing prospects for REITs’ upcoming secured debt maturities.

The median of REITs’ liquidity cover, defined as sources of liquidity divided by uses of liquidity for the projection period of July 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2011 is 1.1 times.

This level indicates that most REITs with investment grade ratings have liquidity surpluses over the next two and a half years, which is beyond the 12-to-24 month timeframe Fitch has typically assessed.

‘REITs are not immune from recent headline risk regarding ongoing commercial real estate fundamental challenges,’ said Marks. ‘However, REITs are set apart from other commercial property owners from a contingent liquidity standpoint.’

Steven Marks,  +1-212-908-9161, Sean Pattap,  +1-212-908-0642 or Joseph Engelken,  +1-212-908-0569, New York.

Media Relations: Sandro Scenga, New York, Tel: +1 212-908-0278;

Citi’s Office Campus in Jacksonville, FL Chosen as World’s Top Corporate Facility for 2008-2009

SANTA ANA, CA – Financial services leader Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) announced today that the Building Owners and Managers Association International named the Citi Jacksonville Office Campus in Jacksonville, Florida, “The Office Building of the Year” in the Corporate Facility category for 2008-2009. The campus is owned by Citi and managed by Grubb & Ellis Management Services, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of leading real estate services and investment firm Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE).

TOBY winners were recognized for excellence in office building management and operations in specific categories of building size or type. To win the international award, the office buildings first won both local and regional competitions. Judging was based on community impact, tenant/employee relations programs, energy management systems, accessibility for disabled people, emergency evacuation procedures, building personnel training programs and overall quality indicators. Now in its 24th year, the TOBY Awards Program is recognized as one of the most prestigious and comprehensive programs in the commercial real estate industry.

“This award is a reflection of the culture we have built together, the work we do in the community, and the difference we make in the lives of others,” said Citi’s Jacksonville Site President Kristi Bageant-Epperson, Head of Branch Services for Citibank North America. “I am so proud of this Jacksonville team. I also want to thank and recognize Sheila Cribb, her Citi Realty Services team, and the Grubb & Ellis team, led by Senior Facility Manager Kim Newhouse for all they do for our campus.”

Grubb & Ellis Management Services has managed Citi’s Jacksonville Office Campus since it was built in 2004. “We are fortunate to have a close working relationship with Citi,” said Newhouse. “We are excited and proud to have teamed with Citi in earning the highest TOBY recognition possible, as well as to manage the first building in Jacksonville to have received the award.”

Grubb & Ellis Management Services’ national facility management relationship with Citi is led by Nanci D’Alessandro, Vice President and National Accounts Manager. Joseph Swingle, Executive Managing Director, Global Client Services, leads Grubb & Ellis teams delivering facility management services to the company’s national accounts.

The Citi Campus stretches across 628,000 square feet and consists of four, three-story interconnected buildings and two additional stand-alone buildings. Citi’s 4,800 employees enjoy the benefits of a state-of-the-art childcare facility, an on-site health and fitness center, medical center, full service cafĂ©, and a 3.5 acre wildlife habitat. The campus is also registered with the U.S. Green Building Council, pursuing a LEED for Existing Buildings certification, for leadership in energy and environmental design.

This is the second year in a row a Grubb & Ellis Management Services-managed property has won the International TOBY in the Corporate Facility category – the Sony Building located in New York won the award last year.

Founded in 1907, the Building Owners and Managers Association International is an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. The 17,000-plus members of BOMA International own or manage more than 9 billion square feet of commercial properties in North America and abroad. BOMA’s mission is to enhance the human, intellectual and physical assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information. On the Web at


Erin Mays, 734.223.8288,
Janis Tarter, 415.658.4256,