The Irvine Co. said it might make occasional purchases of up to 500,000 shares of common stock of its affiliate, Irvine Apartment Communities Inc., raising its stake to as much as about 62.5%.
The Newport Beach-based developer already owns about 60% of the real estate investment trust, which is Orange County's biggest residential landlord. It wants to buy the additional shares because "we continue to think it's a good investment, that the stock is going to continue to offer a good long-term value," said a company spokesman.
The shares may be purchased in the open market or in negotiated transactions, the company said, with the timing depending on market conditions and other factors.
IAC has benefited recently from higher rental revenue and healthy demand for new apartments. Last year, its rental rates rose by an average of 6%, and real estate experts expect rents to continue climbing because of a shortage of inventory.
The real estate investment trust was formed to allow public investment in apartments once owned entirely by the Irvine Co. Its initial public stock offering was in late 1993. IAC shares closed unchanged Friday at $30.13 on the New York Stock Exchange.
The company announced the buyback after the market closed.