Behringer Harvard REIT I Inc. has taken a telltale step toward a liquidity event by internalizing the management team at the real estate investment trust.
According to a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the $5 billion REIT became self-managed on Sept. 1.
“It puts this REIT in place to take the next step,” said Robert Aisner, president and chief executive of Behringer Harvard Holdings LLC.
Mr. Aisner, who will remain as chief executive of the office market REIT, said internalizing the management team will save the reit between $10 million and $12 million annually.
The REIT is slated to mature in 2017, but that date could be extended.
More likely, however, would be some kind of liquidity event along the lines of listing the shares on a public stock exchange.
According to a statement from the company, “management anticipates a liquidity event,” at some point between 2013 and 2017.
“Our goal is to position this REIT to be able to take advantage of strategic opportunities,” Mr. Aisner said. “There are no publicly-traded REITs that are externally managed.”
According to the most recent regulatory filing, as of June 30, the REIT owned 53 properties in 19 states for a total portfolio of more than 20 million square feet.
The most recent report to shareholders valued the reit shares at $4.64 each, significantly below the $10 per share offering price paid more than four years ago.
“The office market has so far been the last to recover in this recession,” Mr. Aisner said.