Washington REIT Is Said to Explore Sale of Retail Portfolio

By Bloomberg

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust is exploring the sale of its retail portfolio, according to people familiar with the matter.

The D.C.-based REIT is working with an adviser, which has contacted potential buyers, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information is private. The portfolio could fetch roughly $800 million, one of the people said.

The company, with a market value of $2.4 billion, is attempting to exit its retail portfolio at a time when the industry has struggled amid e-commerce disruptions. Apart from retail, Washington REIT, which is led by Chief Executive Officer Paul T. McDermott, owns real estate in the multifamily and office sectors, both which have recorded faster net income growth than retail.

A representative for the Washington-focused REIT declined to comment.

The REIT said in an investor presentation in July that about 70 percent of its retail tenant base is “e-commerce resistant.” It is a landlord to brands such as Trader Joe’s, Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and Le Pain Quotidien. Ninety-one percent of its retail portfolio was occupied and leased as of June 30, according to the presentation.

This article provided by NewsEdge.