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COPT raises almost $149 million in stock offering

A rendering of the proposed COPT development in Canton.
A rendering of the proposed COPT development in Canton. (Courtesy of COPT Development, Baltimore Sun)

A Columbia-based real estate developer said Wednesday its sale of newly issued stock raised a net of nearly $149 million, which it intends to use to pay down its debt.

Corporate Office Properties Trust sold 5,520,000 shares, including 720,000 to Wells Fargo Securities LLC, which acted as the underwriter for the $148.7 million deal, which closed Nov. 5. That represents a net price after expenses and other deductions of roughly $27 per share.

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COPT, which specializes in properties for government and defense-related clients, said it planned to use the money to pay off borrowings, including $200.5 million in debt due in 2015 and 2016. The firm's net debt totaled just over $2 billion at the end of September, according to its most recent quarterly earnings report.

COPT's 174-building portfolio includes 94 properties in the Baltimore-Washington region. It also owns about 1,480 acres of land targeted for eventual development, including a high-profile waterfront plot close to Canton Crossing.

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