The Real Deal New York

Forest City gets shareholder approval for REIT conversion

Cleveland-based firm will be known as Forest City Realty Trust effective January 1

October 20, 2015 06:00PM

Forest City Realty Trust

From left: Charles Ratner and David LaRue

Forest City Enterprises received approval from shareholders Tuesday for the company’s planned conversion into a real estate investment trust, with the Cleveland-based firm set to convert to REIT status on January 1, 2016.

Shareholders “approved all of the proposals” related to Forest City’s planned REIT conversion at a special meeting, the company said in a release. The new REIT will be known as Forest City Realty Trust effective January 1 and will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols FCEA and FCEB.

Forest City announced its intention to convert to a REIT earlier this year, with the firm seeking a “tax-efficient structure to continue to drive shareholder value,” company CFO Robert O’Brien said at the time.

As a REIT, Forest City Realty Trust will be required to pay out at least 90 percent of its taxable income in the form of shareholder dividends.

New York City’s major REITs had a mixed third quarter as far as price performance and shareholder returns go, with residential-focused trusts like AvalonBay Communities and Equity Residential largely outperforming commercial giants like SL Green Realty, Boston Properties and Vornado Realty Trust. – Rey Mashayekhi

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