Developers Diversified Realty, Cleveland, is purchasing a portfolio of 110 retail properties from Benderson Development Co. for a total price of about $2.3 billion.The real estate investment trust said the acquisition of the properties, totaling 18.8 million square feet, will be funded through a combination of assumed debt, new debt financing, asset sales, and public and private equity. DDR's Australian joint venture partner, Macquarie DDR Trust, might also invest in the acquisition, the retail REIT said. The Benderson portfolio includes properties in 11 states, with about 80% of the gross leasable area located in New York and New Jersey. The acquisition is expected to bring DDR's total holdings to 470 properties, encompassing over 100 million square feet, in 44 states. DDR said it plans to increase its common share dividend by 10.9% beginning in the third quarter, based on expectations of additional earnings following the acquisition.

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