Bloomberg News

Wereldhave Advances on Plan to Sell U.S. Assets: Amsterdam Mover

February 07, 2012

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Wereldhave NV rose to the highest in six months in Amsterdam trading after the Dutch property company announced a plan to sell its U.S. assets and focus on shopping centers in Western Europe.

Wereldhave values its U.S. real estate, comprising mainly office buildings and apartments, at about 800 million euros ($1.05 billion), a statement today showed. The company, based in the Hague, expects to raise a total of more than 1.1 billion euros from divestments in the U.S. and Europe within three years.

The shares gained as much as 3.2 percent to 59.92 euros, the highest since Aug. 4. Wereldhave will maintain dividend payments at last year’s level, according to the statement.

“This move will give Wereldhave a significant war chest at a time of expensive equity and debt financing, and a rising number of distressed sellers,” Arjan Knibbe, an analyst at ING Groep NV in Amsterdam with a “buy” rating on the stock, said in a note to investors today.

The property company will keep its dividends in 2012 and 2013 at last year’s level. Wereldhave paid a dividend of 4.7 euros a share in 2011.

Wereldhave was up 1.33 euros, or 2.3 percent, at 59.40 euros at 12:20 p.m. in Amsterdam, giving the company a market value of 1.29 billion euros. The shares have advanced about 13 percent in the past six months.

--Editors: Andrew Blackman, Jeff St.Onge.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jurjen van de Pol in Amsterdam at jvandepol@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Ludden at jludden@bloomberg.net.


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