LIMERICK PA – The owner of the Philadelphia Premium Outlets on West Lightcap Road is buying 22 more outlet shopping centers in a deal worth more than $700 million in cash and equity, Reuters News Service reported Tuesday (Dec. 8, 2009).

Simon Property Group Inc., the nation’s largest owner of shopping malls, said it would buy Prime Outlets Acquisition Co. to give it new centers that would surround major metropolitan markets like Washington, Baltimore, San Antonio and Orlando. Because Simon also is taking on Prime’s debt and preferred stock, the deal’s total value is $2.33 billion, Reuters said.

Prime’s centers as of June 30 (2009) were 92-percent occupied, and generated annual sales per square foot of about $370, Reuters reported. That compares with the Premium Outlets nationwide, which in September – according to Simon’s Chelsea Properties subsidiary – were 97.5-percent occupied with sales of $492 per square foot.

After the deal is completed in early 2010, Indianapolis-based Simon will own a total of 63 centers with about 25 million square feet of space.

Philadelphia Premium Outlets encompasses 545,000 square feet of gross leaseable space, Chelsea estimates. Based on its national average for sales per square foot, the Limerick center generates about $268.1 million in sales each year.

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