Asset managers running real estate investment companies — who intend to file for real estate investment trust (REIT) status — are shooting to raise $450m in two upcoming public offerings. Both firms hope to raise enough capital to invest in commercial mortgages and other commercial real estate debt, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. In an earlier filing, Colony Financial reported it would issue 25m shares of common stock at $20 apiece to raise $500m, but that figure was cut in half in an updated filing this week. If approved for publicly-traded REIT status, Colony Financial will trade under the symbol CLNY and issue 12.5m shares of common stock at the $20 price point. The REIT will be externally managed and advised by Colony Financial Manager, a subsidiary of privately held independent global real estate investment firm Colony Capital. According to the filing, the common stock shares sold in the IPO will be ready for delivery on or about September 29. The REIT’s portfolio will include a number of commercial real estate investments, including commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), real estate-owned (REO) properties and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and potentially some residential assets as well. Thomas Barrack, Jr. will serve as executive chairman of the board of directors. Barrack is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Colony Capital. Richard Saltzman will serve as the REIT’s CEO, president and director. He is the president of Colony Capital. Bank of America’s (BAC) Merrill Lynch unit, Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), UBS Investment Bank (UBS), Calyon Securities, HSBC (HBC), JMP Securities, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW) and RBC Capital Markets (RBC) will serve as joint book running managers. As investors slowly return to the investment market, a number of REITs have launched looking to take advantage of the declining commercial real estate market. Earlier this week, Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance issued an IPO of 10m shares to raise $200m to invest in senior performing commercial real estate mortgage loans, CMBS, among other performing commercial real estate debt. That REIT will be externally managed and advised by Acrefi Management, a newly formed subsidiary of Apollo Global Management. A third REIT, Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE), is currently trying to shift 4m shares in a public offering terminating on September 29, in order to pay down the balance of its unsecured line of credit. Alexandria invests in real estate, technical infrastructure, and services to the life science industry. So far, the market is accepting the offerings with mixed results. Write to Austin Kilgore.

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