Investors Real Estate Trust CEO Says Oil Prices Not Impacting REIT

Tim Mihalik, president and CEO of Investors Real Estate Trust (NYSE: IRET), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview during REITWeek 2015: NAREIT’s Investor Forum, held in New York.

Investors Real Estate Trust operates a diversified portfolio of properties in the multifamily, office, health care, retail and industrial sectors. Its properties are located throughout 12 states in the Midwest.

Investors Real Estate Trust’s home state is North Dakota, where the Bakken shale formation is a key driver of the local economy.  Mihalik said the recent drop in oil prices has not impacted its developments in Minot and Williston, which are located in the heart of the Bakken region.

“To date, we’ve seen no material impact from lower oil prices. In fact, lower oil prices have had a minimal impact on IRET overall,” Mihalik said.

Turning to the previously announced plan to dispose of non-core office and retail assets, Mihalik said that after an exhaustive nationwide search, a buyer has been found for both portfolios. Mihalik said the disposals will allow the company to continue to streamline its property focus and deliver a more predictable income stream to investors.

In terms of redeploying the funds, Mihalik said the company plans to continue to delever its balance sheet. It will also consider redeeming some of its preferred stock. Meanwhile, Investors Real Estate Trust will continue to expand in the multifamily sector within its existing markets, he said, and will build on its relationships with existing tenants in the health care portfolio.