DALLAS, Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Mr. Robert S. Aisner, President and CEO of Behringer Harvard, summarized today the key milestones achieved by the firm in 2012 and their anticipated role in the company's strategic growth in 2013 and beyond.
"During 2012, we deepened our management bench and expanded our capacity to offer innovative investment opportunities by partnering with best-in-class providers of specialized services and related expertise," said Mr. Aisner. "For example, our joint venture with Prospect Capital Management LLC will enable us to offer corporate debt and equity investments that address the challenges presented by today's low-yielding fixed-income vehicles."
"Our focus on real estate investment opportunities continues with our newly launched net lease platform and planned real estate investment trust program. These new strategies will focus on providing attractive levels of fixed income, targeting repeatable cash distributions and tax efficiencies," Mr. Aisner added. "I believe these and other initiatives we will pursue during 2013 are paving the way to help us meet the evolving needs and objectives of investors."
Addition of Key Personnel
The addition of key personnel in 2012 demonstrates Behringer Harvard's commitment to the industry and to its shareholders. As previously announced, Mr. Michael O'Hanlon, a seasoned industry veteran, assumed leadership of the company's opportunity platform.
Our distribution platform, under the direction of Mr. Frank Muller, hired Mr. Mark Petersen to direct the company's retail distribution strategies. Mr. Muller also hired two institutional sales directors: Mr. Michael Davis, who serves the eastern region, and Mr. Casey Herren, who serves the western region. These two executives are expanding the firm's capability to provide innovative alternative investments to family offices, high-net-worth investors and pension plans.
Additional new hires in 2012 strengthened and diversified the firm's distribution platform by expanding the company's due diligence and national accounts teams. These personnel include Mr. Patrick Jez and Mr. Roland Quast.
Also, Mr. Brad Watt came aboard to launch the firm's net leasing platform. This new capability will be expanded into both retail and institutional channels.
Continued Investments and Program Innovations
"We continued to innovate in 2012 in ways that are enhancing and extending our investment program offerings and expanding our capital sources and distribution channels," Mr. Aisner concluded. "We will continue to focus – in 2013 and beyond – on expanding our investment program offerings in ways that address the evolving needs of both institutional and retail investors. Leveraging our entrepreneurial legacy, our goal is to offer innovative products that provide enhanced options for allocating capital, managing risk and diversifying assets while introducing different streams of income and return to investors."
Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I, Inc.
A Behringer Harvard investment program that continued in its acquisition phase, Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I, Inc. made eight additional property investments during the first nine months of 2012. The Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I, Inc. portfolio included investments in 48 multifamily communities in 14 states comprising 12,996 apartment homes, as of September 30, 2012. Among these assets, 12 involve development projects in various stages of construction, and two are stabilized properties that were acquired in 2012.
Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I, Inc. continued to focus during 2012 on investments in the top 50 metropolitan statistical areas, with an emphasis on coastal and southern growth markets. Performance of this REIT's property assets was strong in the first nine months of 2012, with total rental revenue increasing by 23 percent compared with the first nine months of 2011. This REIT will continue to focus in 2013 primarily on new development projects, where yields are expected to be comparatively more attractive as cap rates compress for highly amenitized multifamily communities in core growth markets.
Behringer Harvard REIT I, Inc.
Behringer Harvard's largest REIT to date, Behringer Harvard REIT I, Inc. became self-managed in late August 2012. This is expected to position the REIT for operational cost savings as well as structural flexibility that will facilitate a future liquidity event.
Behringer Harvard REIT I, Inc. continued to focus on a business plan that includes strengthening its balance sheet, improving occupancy and strategically disposing of selected assets. During the first nine months of 2012, the REIT reduced its geographic footprint by disposing of five properties and exiting two markets. These activities are expected to reduce leverage requirements and strengthen the balance sheet over time, further positioning the REIT for a liquidity event. This REIT owned and managed a portfolio of 52 assets, representing more than 20.6 million square feet of office space, as of September 30, 2012.
The business unit responsible for property management of Behringer Harvard's office assets was recognized for excellence again in 2012. The BOMA 360 Performance Program, sponsored by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, evaluates properties in six major areas to benchmark the performance of a specific property against industry standards. About half the company's office portfolio has been awarded the BOMA 360 designation. Behringer Harvard also was included on the "Best of the Best" list published by Midwest Real Estate News in the property management and property owner categories.
About Behringer Harvard
Across all its investment platforms through the third quarter of 2012, Behringer Harvard had investments in or managed more than 37.5 million square feet of properties of all types. These assets included approximately 24.7 million square feet of office/industrial/retail space, 14,735 apartment units, 1,539 hotel rooms and 792 acres of land for development, employing more than 600 people across the United States and Europe.
Some Behringer Harvard investment programs in later phases of their life cycles continued to respond to economic challenges. However, operating results improved on several fronts. For example, through the first nine months of 2012, Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT I, Inc. increased its liquidity nearly fourfold, reduced debt by approximately 30 percent and replaced much of the remaining debt at a lower interest rate.
Behringer Harvard creates and manages global institutional-quality alternative investment programs for individual and institutional investors. Programs sponsored and managed by the Behringer Harvard group of companies have attracted equity of more than $6 billion and made investments into more than $11 billion in assets. For more information, contact our U.S. headquarters toll-free at 866.655.3600 or our European headquarters at 011 49 40 34 9999 90, or visit us online at behringerharvard.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements relating to the business and financial outlook of Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I, Inc. and/or Behringer Harvard REIT I, Inc. and/or Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT I, Inc. and/or Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT II, Inc. that are based on our current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections and are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on any such statements. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this release. Such factors include those described in the Risk Factors sections of the offering documents for the offering of shares and/or the Annual Reports on Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 2011, for Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I, Inc.; Behringer Harvard REIT I, Inc.; Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT I, Inc.; and Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT II, Inc., each as supplemented in Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Forward-looking statements in this document speak only as of the date on which such statements were made, and we undertake no obligation to update any such statements that may become untrue because of subsequent events. We claim the safe harbor protection for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
SOURCE Behringer Harvard