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Washington REIT kicks off 4 million common share offering

Washington RealEstate Investment Trust launched a public offering of 4.0 million commonshares.

The offering also includes a 30-day option for the underwritersto buy up to 600,000 additional shares of beneficial interest. Including the fullexercise of the underwriters' option, the offering represents gross proceeds ofabout $135.1 million based on the company's April 28 closing stock price of $29.37per share.

The company said the net proceeds will be used initially to repayborrowings outstanding under its revolving credit facility. The funds will be subsequentlyused to fund an acquisition, among other general corporate purposes.

A day earlier, the company announced that it is buying the 1,222-unit Riverside Apartmentsin Alexandria, Va., for roughly $244.8 million. It also reached a deal to sell itssix-building suburban Maryland office portfolio to an institutional buyer identifiedby the Washington Business Journal tobe a Brookfield Property PartnersLP affiliate.

J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs & Co. and Morgan Stanley &Co. LLC are the offering's joint book-running managers.