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Consolidated’s big month was a real bell-ringer

In Consolidated- Tomoka Land Co.’s 117-year history, it’s safe to say the Daytona Beach company has never had a bigger month than it had this past October. After a relatively quiet first two weeks, the company on Oct. 16 announced the $97 million sale of a controlling stake in the remaining 5,300 acres of undeveloped land it owned in Daytona Beach.

The sale of land mostly in the area surrounding the Interstate 95/LPGA Boulevard, in one single transaction to Evanston, Illinois based Magnetar Capital, shattered the record Consolidated-Tomoka set last year for most revenue generated in a single year — $60 million — from sales of undeveloped real estate.

Two days later, the company announced the $3.45 million sale of its two golf courses as well as the clubhouse at LPGA International to Virginia-based Fore Golf Services Inc. Then on Oct. 23, Consolidated-Tomoka made another big announcement, or rather, two of them: plans for an upcoming an initial public offering of common stock shares in a new separate company it is forming called Alpine Income Property Trust Inc., as well as plans to change its own name at the beginning of 2020 to CTO Realty Growth. CTO also happens to be the symbol for Consolidated-Tomoka’s common stock, which trades on the NYSE American stock exchange.

Alpine, a real estate investment trust, is expected to have its common stock shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PINE.” It will initially consist of 20 single-tenant income-producing properties that it will purchase from Consolidated-Tomoka as the company soon to be known as CTO shifts its primary focus to investing in multitenant commercial properties. But Albright will become CEO of both companies as Alpine will be managed by Consolidated-Tomoka. The two companies will also share the same headquarters offices in Daytona Beach at 1140 Williamson Blvd.

Consolidated- Tomoka on Oct. 16 also announced its third quarter earnings, which included an increase in net income per share to 31 cents, up from 26 cents for the same period a year ago. Turns out, October included another big milestone for the company. On Oct. 16, Consolidated-Tomoka for the first time in its history rang the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange to mark the 50th anniversary of its becoming a public company. “We were thrilled to have represented the shareholders of Consolidated-Tomoka in celebrating 50 years of trading on the NYSE,” said Albright who wielded the wooden mallet used to ring the stock change’s closing bell. It as a “very cool experience,” Albright said. “Not many companies have that distinction (of ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange).”

Albright was accompanied by co-workers Mark Patten, senior vice president and chief financial officer at Consolidated-Tomoka, and Tammy MacIsaac, the company’s land information manager. MacIsaac also is the company’s longestserving current employee, having joined the staff at Consolidated-Tomoka 33 years ago, Albright said. Also taking part in the trip to the NYSE in New York City were the current members of Consolidated-Tomoka’s board of directors, led by chairwoman Laura Franklin, as well as past-board member William L. Olivari, former partner of Ormond Beach certified public accounting firm Olivari & Associates. Consolidated- Tomoka employs 15 workers.

Clayton Park is business editor of The Daytona Beach News- Journal. He can be reached at clayton.park@news-jrnl.com.

Land is in the ‘rearview mirror’ for this Central Florida real estate firm. Here’s what’s next.

Jack Witthaus
Staff Writer
Orlando Business Journal

A mega acreage deal may help transition Daytona Beach’s largest landowner into a real estate investment trust.

Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. (NYSE American: CTO) revealed it sold a controlling interest on Oct. 16 in all — yes all — of its 5,300 acres in Daytona Beach. The Daytona Beach-based real estate company sold the land for $97 million to funds managed by Evanston, Illinois-based hedge fund Magnetar Capital, whose Magnetar Financial LLC owns about 4.6% of the company’s shares, according to Yahoo Finance. Investors in Consolidated-Tomoka seemed pleased, as the company’s stock price grew 6.4% by the market’s close on Oct. 17.

Consolidated-Tomoka President and CEO John Albright told investors on a not-so-typical third-quarter earnings call that land was in the “rearview mirror.” “The market wasn’t valuing the land whatsoever as far as where our stock’s been trading. So right now, we are very focused on investing that capital in income-producing properties.”

That excited some investors on the call who saw the deal as a potential opportunity to turn the company into a REIT, which essentially owns and leases space. The income from the REIT’s leased properties then is given as dividends to shareholders.

Albright declined to say Oct. 17 if the company would become a REIT. He told Orlando Business Journal in a statement that the 5,300-acre “joint venture” deal with Magnetar Capital allows the company “more flexibility in how we structure deals with developers.”

But Alrbight did say in the earnings call that the deal “definitely speeds up the conversation about what’s next for CTO” and said there would be more communication on what that next step for the company would be.

That didn’t stop analysts from weighing in on the REIT speculation during the earnings call.

“I just want to say up front, I give my vote toward becoming a REIT sooner rather than later,” said Brian Rohman, a portfolio manager and analyst for Boston-based Boston Partners Global Investors Inc., which owns about 2.8% of the company.

Investors later speculated that Consolidated-Tomoka’s ownership of the LPGA International Golf Club would be a roadblock to becoming a REIT. But that roadblock apparently has been cleared. On Oct. 18, Consolidated-Tomoka announced it had sold the golf club for about $3.5 million to an affiliate of Manassas, Virginia-based Fore Golf Services Inc. The LPGA International Golf Club had suffered “significant operating losses,” Albright said in a prepared statement.

Consolidated-Tomoka’s stock was trading higher as of late morning Oct. 18, and its stock has a 52-week range of $49.23-$68.64. The company traces its roots back to 1902, and at one point owned more than 1.8 million acres of land in Florida.

In $97M deal, Consolidated sells control of Daytona land holdings

A Chicago area institutional investor is the new majority owner of the 5,300 acres of undeveloped land in Daytona’s LPGA area.

DAYTONA BEACH — In a move that took Daytona Beach city officials by surprise, Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. announced late Wednesday its sale of a controlling interest in the remaining undeveloped land it owns here to a Chicago area-based investment group.

“I just got an email (from Consolidated-Tomoka) saying that they sold (a 66.5 percent stake in) all 5,300 acres in Daytona Beach for $97 million to Magnetar Capital,” City Commissioner Rob Gilliland announced at the end of Wednesday night’s commission meeting. “That’s a huge deal to us.”

Gilliland’s comments, which can be heard on the video recording of the meeting on the city’s website, appeared to stun the other commissioners, including Mayor Derrick Henry.

Mark Patten, the chief financial officer for Daytona Beach-based Consolidated-Tomoka, in a phone interview, said the sale is only of the “raw” land that the company owned in the area on both sides of the Interstate 95/LPGA Boulevard interchange, and did not include its properties in downtown Daytona Beach or on A1A or West International Speedway Boulevard.

Consolidated-Tomoka continues to be the sole owner of the former First Baptist Church property in downtown Daytona Beach, the six acres along A1A that it leases to Landshark Bar & Grill and the new Crabby’s Oceanside restaurant, as well as the recently vacated former Barnes & Noble property on West International Speedway Boulevard, across from Daytona International Speedway, Patten confirmed.

And while Evanston, Illinois-based Magnetar will now has final say on what happens to the 5,300 acres, Consolidated-Tomoka will continue to manage the land, Patten said.

“We will work with them on how they want to manage the portfolio,” he said.

Consolidated-Tomoka CEO John Albright in a news release described the sale of the controlling stake to Magnetar as a “transformative transaction (that) unlocks significant value from our remaining legacy holdings in Daytona Beach.”

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