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Burnham Pacific Gets Stockholder OK to Continue Dividend Payments

August 08, 2000|From a Times Staff Writer

Burnham Pacific Properties Inc., one of California's largest owners of strip malls and community shopping centers, said Monday it has reached an agreement with one of its preferred stockholders that frees the real estate firm to continue distributing common stock dividends.

The agreement is yet another sign that San Diego-based Burnham Pacific is seriously studying an offer to acquire all or part of the real estate investment trust, according to industry analysts.

Affiliates of Westbrook Partners, a New York-based real estate investment firm, suspended their right to block San Diego-based Burnham Pacific from paying a common stock dividend, according to Burnham Pacific. Industry officials said such rights are usually activated after a company receives an offer.

Burnham Pacific management has been considering selling the firm to a group that includes another retail REIT, Cleveland-based Developers Diversified Realty, according to industry observers.

Company officials declined to comment on the acquisition reports.

Burnham Pacific is free to pay a common stock dividend, but said in a statement that "there can be no assurance that the company will continue paying regular quarterly distributions to its common stockholders." Late last week, the investment newsletter Realty Stock Review Online warned that Burnham Pacific might eliminate its dividend.

Burnham stock fell 19 cents to a record low of $5.38 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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