Carlyle's CoreSite IPO Raises $270 Million for Data Center REIT

CoreSite Realty Corp., the developer of data centers that’s owned by Carlyle Group, raised $270 million after pricing the second U.S. initial public offering of September at the middle of its forecast range.

The real estate investment trust sold 16.9 million shares at $16 apiece after offering them at $15 to $17 each, according to Bloomberg data and a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. CoreSite will use the proceeds to repay debt and develop data center space, while Washington-based Carlyle will retain a 63 percent stake in the REIT’s common shares after the IPO, the filing showed.

CoreSite’s deal, which was priced at a discount to its publicly traded competitors, is the second of at least 11 U.S. IPOs scheduled for this month after 44 companies postponed or withdrew offerings this year amid concern that the economic recovery was deteriorating. Beijing-based SouFun Holdings Ltd. posted the second-largest first-day gain for a U.S. initial sale in 2010 last week after raising $125 million.

“IPOs are going to be successful only if valuations are reasonable,” said Michael Yoshikami, who oversees about $1 billion at YCMNet Advisors in Walnut Creek, California. The share sale by CoreSite “suggests that there is a desire to take on risk,” he said.

CoreSite advanced 0.1 percent to $16.01 today in New York on U.S. composite trading.

Underwriters, Relative Value

Citigroup Inc. in New York, Bank of America Corp. of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Toronto-based Royal Bank of Canada led CoreSite’s offering.

At the IPO price of $16 a share, CoreSite is valued at 1.4 times its net assets, according to Francis Gaskins, president of IPOdesktop.com in Marina del Rey, California.

That’s at least 26 percent less than the ratios for Digital Realty Trust Inc. in San Francisco or Washington-based DuPont Fabros Technology Inc., operators of data centers that CoreSite listed as competitors in its prospectus, according to data compiled by IPOdesktop.com.

The six REITs that completed U.S. IPOs this year, including San Diego-based Excel Trust Inc. and Los Angeles-based Hudson Pacific Properties Inc., declined an average of 2.3 percent through yesterday, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

At least eight other REITs such as Atlanta-based Americold Realty Trust, controlled by Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos., have withdrawn or postponed initial sales this year.

IPO Timing

The offering also came after private-equity backed U.S. IPOs posted the worst returns in at least a decade this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and Greenwich, Connecticut-based Renaissance Capital LLC.

The 19 initial sales from U.S. companies led by leveraged buyout firms have lost 1.9 percent of their value through yesterday in the first month of trading in 2010, after averaging gains every year since at least 2001, the data show.

CoreSite’s IPO is the first by a U.S. company in a month, following Houston-based Whitestone REIT’s sale on Aug. 25. Since then, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has rallied 6.6 percent.

“IPOs have been viewed with some degree of skepticism,” Thomas Ray, CoreSite’s chief executive officer, said in an interview today. “The process, certainly, takes a fair amount of energy. The timing ended up working well for us.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Cecile Vannucci in New York at cvannucci1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Hauck at dhauck1@bloomberg.net.

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