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Friday, Jul 12, 2024

Public Storage Reducing Debt

Glendale-based Public Storage will cut $113 million in debt by redeeming two senior unsecured notes. Rather than continue to pay interest on the notes, it made more sense for the real estate investment trust to use cash on hand to buy back the notes, a company official said. The notes would have come due in 2011 and 2013. One of the strategies the investment trust has taken with regard to financing is the use of something called perpetual preferred stock. Rather than shelling shares in the company, perpetual preferred stock offers returns to its holders only dividend payments, said Clem Teng, vice president of investor relations. “We never have to pay it back; we pay dividends only,” he said. “The benefits are that we don’t have banks looking over our shoulder, asking ‘what are your ratios,’ and you never have them saying, ‘oops, time to pay it back,’ and ‘guess what, your interest rate went up.’ We always know what we’re going to pay and we can go to bed at night and sleep easily.” Although business is slow, the investment trust has a healthy balance sheet. The company is “patiently waiting” for acquisition opportunities to present themselves, Teng said. “Right now, though, we are waiting for sellers to become more realistic about the value of their properties,” said Teng. “Eventually there are going to be some sellers that need to sell because their loan is overextended.” Public Storage operates in 38 states with the Los Angeles area and the Valley in particular, “holding up pretty well,” Teng said. “That’s one of the benefits of valley, it’s still highly populated and people still have jobs,” Teng said.

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