A Deal That's Looking Dubiouser And Dubiouser

Frank J. Pasquerilla likes to make a big impression. The $27 million headquarters of his Johnstown (Pa.)-based Crown American Corp. was designed by postmodern architect Michael Graves. It features a massive rotunda and a pyramid housing the executive offices. Soon, the 66-year-old Pasquerilla, patriarch of one of the nation's largest private hotel and shopping center developers, hopes to operate on an even grander scale. He wants to transform Crown American into the largest equity real estate investment trust (REIT) that Wall Street has ever seen. In August, with the help of investment banking firm Kidder, Peabody & Co., Crown American hopes to float an initial public offering that it anticipates will raise at least $400 million, enabling it to reduce its burdensome debt load and assuage nervous lenders.

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