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REITs Largely Untouched from Winn-Dixie Bankrutpcy

Winn-Dixie's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week will have minimal effect on shopping center REITs, according to analysts. Even the two REITs with the greatest exposure, Equity One Inc. and New Plan Excel Realty Trust, should be relatively unharmed.

"For Equity One, the significance is really nothing," says President Doron Valero. Equity One has 16 center anchored by Winn-Dixie representing 2.8 percent of the firm's annual rent and 3.7 percent of total square feet.

Valero says he is not worried because 15 of the centers are in Florida, Alabama and Louisiana; areas that Winn-Dixie has defined as core markets. Only one store, which is about 28,000 square feet, is located in the non-core market of North Carolina.

New Plan Excel has the greatest exposure to Winn-Dixie with 22 stores, four of which are in joint venture centers where New Excel only has a 10 percent interest. One has already been sub-leased to a Fiesta Mart.

Citigroup analysts expect Winn-Dixie's bankruptcy to reduce 2005 earnings by two cents a share to $2.12.

In April last year, Winn-Dixie selected 156 under performing stores, 111 in non-core markets, for closing.--David Koch

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