Retail real estate investment trust (REIT) -
Simon Property Group, Inc.
) - finally accomplished the spin off of Washington Prime Group
Inc., which joins the regular trading board on the NYSE today under
the symbol "WPG." This independent public company's portfolio
includes 98 retail assets, including the strip center business,
that were previously under Simon Property's ownership.
Simon stockholders received one Washington Prime common share on
May 28 for every 2 shares of Simon common stock held as of the
close of business on May 16, via a special dividend distribution
announced earlier by Simon's board. For fractional shares, the
shareholders of Simon will receive cash.
Notably, Washington Prime shares have already traded on a "when
issued" basis under the symbol "WPG.WI" on the NYSE since May 14.
This allowed shareholders to trade the right to receive shares of
Washington Prime on the distribution date.
The move is a win-win situation for both Simon Property and
Washington Prime. It would help Simon Property to increase
utilization of resources for expanding its global portfolio of
larger malls, mills and premium outlets. With the economy showing
signs of recovery, spending of the richer consumers is improving
and the company seems to leverage on this trend.
On the other hand, for Washington Prime, the move will help unleash
the potential of diversified portfolios of strip centers and malls
that are owned by it as well as benefit from the flexible balance
sheet and significant scale.
Simon currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked
retail REITs include
Acadia Realty Trust
General Growth Properties, Inc
Retail Properties of America, Inc.
). All of these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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SIMON PROPERTY (SPG): Free Stock Analysis
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