Downturn barely impacted Vornado’s cash flow

March 12, 2012 09:00AM

The recession had “almost no impact” on Vornado Realty Trust’s cash flow, CEO Michael Fascitelli said in a video interview with REIT.com.

Fascitelli said the company focused on paying down $2 billion of debt and extending maturity of other obligations during the downturn to help maintain operating leeway and flexibility. Thanks to its access to capital, the firm “had a very aggressive plan to keep the buildings full,” and combined with long term-leases it was able to “mitigate any kind of cash flow impact.”

Fascitelli was asked about the $800 million real estate investment fund, but declined to discuss it aside from the relationships it helps forge with big partners and possible joint ventures.

Finally, Fascitelli discussed taking over for Steve Roth, who now holds the title of chairman of Vornado. Fascitelli, who formerly worked as a partner of Goldman Sachs, said it hasn’t been to much of a transition because he has worked in partnership with Roth since joining Vornado in 1997 and launching an aggressive acquisition spree. Taking over the CEO title was “an evolution, not a revolution,” Fascitelli said. [REIT.com]