The ratings of New Plan Excel Realty Trust Inc. have been placed on Rating Watch Negative by Fitch Ratings in the wake of an announcement that the real estate investment trust is being acquired by Australia-based Centro Properties Group and Centro Retail Trust.The shopping center REIT's issuer default, senior unsecured note, and bank credit facility ratings stand at BBB-plus, and its preferred stock is rated BBB. Fitch said the rating watch placement is based on "concerns that Centro will increase New Plan's leverage and rely more heavily on secured debt."

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