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Fisher Communications Explores Sale of Seattle Headquarters

March 22 (Bloomberg) -- Fisher Communications Inc., a Seattle-based broadcasting company, said it hired Moelis & Co. to explore a possible sale or financing of Fisher Plaza, its headquarters near downtown Seattle.

The 300,000-square-foot office and data center complex, built in 2001 at the end of the Internet boom, includes two six-story buildings and land with a net book value of $106 million as of Dec. 31, according to the company’s annual report. Fisher Plaza, located across the street from the city’s landmark Space Needle, was 96 percent occupied as of the end of 2010.

The company said it plans to use proceeds from a sale or financing to redeem its outstanding 8.625 percent senior notes or repurchase common stock. Fisher Communications said it can redeem the senior notes at 102.875 percent of par value and buy back as much as about $32 million of common stock.

Fisher Communications, which tried to sell Fisher Plaza in early 2008, is considering a possible sale again as U.S. commercial real estate prices recover from their lows during the credit crisis. The company suspended the earlier attempt in November that year.

No timetable for a possible sale has been set, the company said in a statement.

The buildings at 100 and 140 4th Avenue North house the KOMO-TV studios, the local ABC affiliate. One property was assessed at $52.2 million and the other at $28.3 million for the 2011 tax year, according to King County property records.

Fisher Communications operates 13 full-power television stations and 7 low-power television stations that include network affiliations with ABC, CBS, FOX, Univision and CW, and 10 radio stations. Its online division, Fisher Interactive Network, produces local websites and other services.

Fisher Communications didn’t immediately return calls for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hui-yong Yu in Seattle at hyu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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