Exclusive: Macerich in talks with Starwood for sale of four malls

NEW YORK Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:16pm EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Starwood Retail Properties is in talks to buy four lower sales- generating malls from Macerich Co (MAC.N), two sources familiar with the deal said on Tuesday.

Last year, Macerich put 17 lower sales-generating or "B" malls up for sale to gauge the interest in the assets. The four malls Starwood wants are Rimrock Mall in Billings, Montana; Northridge Mall in Salinas, California; The Centre at Salisbury, Salisbury, Maryland; and Kitsap Mall in Silverdale, Washington.

No contract has been signed for any of them, one of the sources said, and no price information was available.

The sources did not want to be named because they were not authorized to speak on the record.

Starwood Retail Properties is the mall unit of Starwood Capital Group, a global private real estate investment firm headed by Barry Sternlicht.

A representative from Starwood did not return calls seeking comment. A Macerich spokesperson declined comment.

At the end of last year, Macerich put the lower sales-generating malls on the block. Macerich intends to use the proceeds to help offset the cost of its $751 million acquisition of Kings Plaza Mall in Brooklyn, New York, from Vornado Realty Trusts Inc's affiliate Alexander's and its $500 million purchase of Green Acres Mall in Long Island, New York, from Vornado, the company said earlier this month in a conference call with analysts.

It also said that based on the interest the malls received, Macerich expected the initial yield on the sale to be in the mid 7 percent range. Macerich said it did not expect to sell all 17 properties.

(Reporting by Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Gary Hill and Phil Berlowitz)

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