Plaza's US joint venture announces conclusion of offer for EDT (US)

Further to the announcements on March 10, 2011 and May 12, 2011, Plaza Centers N.V., announces that the off-market takeover bid by its joint US subsidiary, EPN Holdings II LLC (EPN Holdings, together with EPN GP, LLC), for all of the units in EDT Retail Trust not already held by EPN, closed on July 14, 2011.

As a result of the purchases of EDT's units during the offer period, EPN has increased its interest in EDT from approximately 47.8% to approximately 96.4%.

EPN now plans to proceed with the compulsorily acquisition of the remaining EDT units, under the terms of the offer. Following this, the JV will become the holder of 100% of the outstanding units of EDT and it is expected that EDT will be removed from the official list of the Australian Stock Exchange shortly thereafter.

The total cost for the 52.2% interest purchased and/or to be purchased in EDT totals US $242 million (approx. €172 million), of which Plaza's share is approximately US $57 million.

EDT is a listed real estate investment trust focused on investing predominately in US community shopping centers. It currently owns 48 assets covering 10.9 million ft².

According to EDT's financial statements, as of March 31, 2011, EDT's shopping center portfolio was valued at US $1.4 billion and was approximately 89% leased. EDT's total equity as of March 31, 2011 was approximately US $529 million.

Plaza and Elbit Imaging Ltd. (NASDAQ: EMITF), through a 50:50 jointly controlled entity, have a circa 45.5% stake in EPN. The remaining interests in EPN are held by Eastgate Property LLC and its affiliates (approximately 45.5%) and Menora Mivtachim Insurance Ltd and its affiliates (approximately 9%).

Ran Shtarkman, President and CEO of Plaza Centers, said: "The completion of the offer for EDT is a further milestone in our strategy to gain exposure to high quality yielding retail assets in the US, which will deliver a growing recurring income stream for Plaza.

"Since acquiring our first stake in EDT in April 2010, extensive changes have been made to the management structure and approximately US $500 million of debt has been refinanced, providing a strong platform for future growth. This has already resulted in strong improvements in both rental growth and letting activity within the portfolio.

"In addition, we also expect that taking EDT private will result in cost reductions and more efficient management procedures and structure, enabling us to benefit further from EDT's free cash-flow.

"We look forward to delivering further progress, by enabling ETD to enjoy our specialist retail expertise in creating value through redevelopment and repositioning of shopping centers. In addition to the improvements in the debt structure demonstrated by EDT so far, we hope this will deliver enhanced income, as well as future capital gains over the longer term, for the benefit of our shareholders."

Source: FD

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