Newkirk Realty Trust, Inc., or Newkirk, was merged with and into us on December 31, 2006, which we refer to as the Newkirk Merger.
Lexington Strategic Asset Corp., a former taxable REIT subsidiary, which we refer to as LSAC, was merged with and into us as of June 30, 2007. Lexington Contributions Inc., a former taxable REIT subsidiary, which we refer to as LCI, was merged with and into us as of March 25, 2008.
We are a self-managed and self-administered REIT, formed under the laws of the State of Maryland. Our primary business is the acquisition, ownership and management of a geographically diverse portfolio of net-leased office, industrial and retail properties. Substantially all of these properties are subject to triple net or similar leases, where the tenant bears all or substantially all of the costs and/or cost increases for real estate taxes, utilities, insurance and ordinary repairs. In addition, we acquire and hold investments in loan assets and debt securities related to real estate.
As of December 31, 2009, we had ownership interests in approximately 210 consolidated real estate properties, located in 40 states and the Netherlands and containing an aggregate of approximately 38.3 million square feet of space, approximately 91.5% of which was subject to a lease. In 2009, 2008 and 2007, no tenant/guarantor represented greater than 10% of our annual base rental revenue.
In addition to our shares of beneficial interests, par value $0.0001 per share, classified as “common stock,” which we refer to as common shares, we have three outstanding classes of beneficial interests classified as preferred stock, which we refer to as preferred shares: (1) 8.05% Series B Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, which we refer to as our Series B Preferred Shares, (2) 6.50% Series C Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock, which we refer to as our Series C Preferred Shares and (3) 7.55% Series D Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, which we refer to as our Series D Preferred Shares. Our common shares, Series B Preferred Shares, Series C Preferred Shares and Series D Preferred Shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, under the symbols “LXP”, “LXP pb”, “LXP pc” and “LXP pd”, respectively.
We elected to be taxed as a REIT under Sections 856 through 860 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, which we refer to as the Code, commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 1993. If we qualify for taxation as a REIT, we generally will not be subject to federal corporate income taxes on our net taxable income that is currently distributed to shareholders.
Our predecessor was organized in Delaware in October 1993 upon the combination of two investment programs, Lepercq Corporate Income Fund L.P. and Lepercq Corporate Income Fund II L.P., which were formed to acquire net-lease real estate assets providing current income. Our predecessor was merged into Lexington Corporate Properties Trust, a Maryland statutory REIT, on December 31, 1997. On December 31, 2006, Lexington Corporate Properties Trust completed the Newkirk Merger. Newkirk’s primary business was similar to our primary business. All of Newkirk’s operations were conducted and all of its assets were held through its master limited partnership, The Newkirk Master Limited Partnership, which we refer to as the MLP. Newkirk was the general partner and owned, at the time of completion of the Newkirk Merger, a 31.0% interest in the MLP. In connection with the Newkirk Merger, Lexington Corporate Properties Trust changed its name to Lexington Realty Trust, the MLP was renamed The Lexington Master Limited Partnership, and one of our wholly-owned subsidiaries became the sole general partner of the MLP and another one of our wholly-owned subsidiaries became the holder of a 31.0% limited partner interest in the MLP.
In the Newkirk Merger, each share of Newkirk’s common stock was exchanged for 0.80 of our common shares, and the MLP effected a 1.0 for 0.80 reverse unit-split. Each unit of limited partner interest in the MLP, which we refer to as an MLP unit, other than the MLP units held directly or indirectly by us, was redeemable at the option of the holder for cash based on a value of our common shares or, if we elected, for our common shares on a one-for-one basis. As of December 31, 2008, the MLP was merged with and into us, and we issued 6.4 million common shares for the MLP units we did not already own.
We are structured as an umbrella partnership REIT, or UPREIT, and a portion of our business is conducted through our three operating partnership subsidiaries: (1) Lepercq Corporate Income Fund L.P.; (2) Lepercq Corporate Income Fund II L.P.; and (3) Net 3 Acquisition L.P. We refer to these subsidiaries as our operating partnerships and to limited partner interests in these operating partnerships as OP units. We are party to a funding agreement with our operating partnerships under which we may be required to fund distributions made on account of OP units. The UPREIT structure enables us to acquire properties through our operating partnerships by issuing to a property owner, as a form of consideration in exchange for the property, OP units. The OP units are generally redeemable, after certain dates, for our common shares on a one OP unit for approximately 1.13 common shares basis or cash, at our election in certain instances. We believe that this structure facilitates our ability to raise capital and to acquire portfolio and individual properties by enabling us to structure transactions which may defer tax gains for a contributor of property. As of December 31, 2009, there were approximately 4.8 million OP units outstanding, other than OP units held directly or indirectly by us, that are currently redeemable for approximately 5.4 million common shares.
Current Economic Uncertainty and Capital Market Volatility
Our business continues to be impacted in a number of ways by the uncertainty in the overall economy and volatility in the capital markets.
Objectives and Strategy
General. Our current business strategy is focused on ways to reduce leverage, preserve capital, generate additional liquidity and revenue and improve our overall financial flexibility. Some of these strategies have included the following:
repurchasing our short-term debt and senior securities; issuing longer-term debt to pay down shorter-term debt and thereby extend maturities; aggressively managing our core portfolio of office and industrial properties to maintain and improve our net operating income from these assets; generating liquidity through sales to third parties of non-core and vacant assets or controlling expenses by disposing of non-performing assets; employing cost-saving measures to reduce our general and administrative expenses; reducing our per common share dividend and, during 2009, paying a portion of the common share dividend in common shares; and issuing shares under our direct share purchase plan.
We view our “core” assets as general purpose, efficient, single-tenant net-leased assets, in well-located and growing markets. As part of our ongoing business efforts, we expect to continue to (1) recycle capital in compliance with regulatory and contractual requirements; (2) refinance or repurchase outstanding indebtedness when advisable; (3) effect strategic transactions, portfolio and individual property acquisitions and dispositions; (4) expand existing properties; (5) execute new leases with tenants; (6) extend lease maturities in advance of expiration; and (7) explore new business lines and operating platforms. Additionally, we may continue to enter into joint ventures and co-investment programs with third-party investors as a means of creating additional growth and expanding the revenue realized from advisory and asset management activities as situations warrant.
Capital Recycling. We began to dispose of non-core assets in 2007 and continued to dispose of non-core assets and core assets, subject to regulatory and contractual requirements, through 2009. During 2009 and 2008, we used the proceeds from such dispositions primarily to retire senior debt and preferred securities at what we believe were favorable spreads. Currently, we are focused on the disposition of non-core, vacant or non-performing assets.
Acquisition Strategies. When market conditions warrant, we seek to enhance our net-lease property portfolio through acquisitions of core assets, including through the investment in debt securities directly or indirectly secured by core assets. Prior to effecting any acquisitions, we analyze the (1) property’s design, construction quality, efficiency, functionality and location with respect to the immediate sub-market, city and region; (2) lease integrity with respect to term, rental rate increases, corporate guarantees and property maintenance provisions; (3) present and anticipated conditions in the local real estate market; and (4) prospects for selling or re-leasing the property on favorable terms in the event of a vacancy. We also evaluate each potential tenant’s financial strength, growth prospects, competitive position within its respective industry and a property’s strategic location and function within a tenant’s operations or distribution systems. We believe that our comprehensive underwriting process is critical to the assessment of long-term profitability of any investment by us.
In the Newkirk Merger, we succeeded Newkirk to an agreement with a third party pursuant to which we will pay the third party for properties acquired by us and identified by the third party in an amount equal to (1) 1.5% of the gross purchase price and (2) 25% of the net proceeds and net cash flow (as defined) after we receive all of our invested capital plus a 12% internal rate of return. As of December 31, 2009, only one property, which was acquired in 2006, has been acquired subject to these terms. We have no other sourcing agreements.
Strategic Transactions with Other Real Estate Investment Companies. We seek to capitalize on the unique investment experience of our executive management team as well as their network of relationships in the industry to achieve appropriate risk-adjusted yields through strategic transactions. Accordingly, we endeavor to pursue the (1) acquisition of portfolios of assets and equity interests in companies with a significant number of single-tenant assets, including through mergers and acquisitions activity and (2) participation in strategic partnerships, co-investment programs and joint ventures.
In 1999, we established our first co-investment program with the New York State Common Retirement Fund to acquire net-lease assets. Following a second co-investment program with the New York State Common Retirement Fund, we established co-investment programs with ING Clarion Lion Properties Fund and the Utah State Retirement Investment Fund, all with the purpose of acquiring net-leased assets. In addition, in the Newkirk Merger, we acquired what is now a 50% interest in Lex-Win Concord LLC, which we refer to as Lex-Win Concord, a joint venture with Winthrop Realty Trust, which we refer to as Winthrop. Lex-Win Concord’s primary asset is its interest in Concord Debt Holdings LLC, which we refer to as Concord, and Concord’s primary business is the ownership of real estate loan assets.
During 2007, we established Net Lease Strategic Assets Fund L.P., which we refer to as NLS, a co-investment program with a subsidiary of Inland American Real Estate Trust, Inc., which we refer to as Inland NLS, to invest in specialty net-leased real estate. In addition, we acquired the interests of the New York State Common Retirement Fund and the Utah State Retirement Investment Fund in our co-investment programs with them, and we distributed the properties in the co-investment program with ING Clarion Lion Properties Fund to us and ING Clarion Lion Properties Fund, and terminated all of our co-investment programs except for NLS and Lex-Win Concord.
We believe that entering into co-investment programs and joint ventures with institutional investors and other real estate investment companies may mitigate our risk in certain assets and increase our return on equity to the extent we earn management or other fees.
Acquisitions of Portfolios and Individual Net-lease Properties. We seek to acquire portfolios and individual properties from (1) creditworthy companies in sale/leaseback transactions for properties that are integral to the sellers’/tenants’ ongoing operations; (2) developers of newly constructed properties built to suit the needs of a corporate tenant generally after construction has been completed to avoid the risks associated with the construction phase of a project; (3) other real estate investment companies through strategic transactions; and (4) sellers of properties subject to an existing lease. We believe that our geographical diversification and acquisition experience will allow us to compete effectively for the acquisition of such properties.