Vornado Looks to Enhance Shareholder Value

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Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO) apparently is looking for any avenue it can to generate more value for its shareholders. The real estate investment trust (REIT) reportedly is considering a spin-off of its suburban shopping centers as one method, and the aim is to perhaps take out $2 billion to $3 billion. Its stake in Toys”R”Us remains an elusive wild card with no end game in sight.

Dow Jones reported late on Tuesday that in recent months the New York-based commercial landlord also has discussed spinning off its strip malls into a separate company. Vornado then would merge the business with San Diego-based Retail Opportunity Investments Corp. (NASDAQ: ROIC), according to people familiar with the situation. And Vornado would avoid a large tax payment if shareholders take a majority stake in the combined company instead of cash.

Nothing is certain thus far, and talks are ongoing. Chairman and Chief Executive Steven Roth has a reputation for being deliberative, sometimes taking years to pull the trigger on big deals. Vornado also reportedly is studying other scenarios for the business. The company has tapped Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs as advisers.

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