NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Acadia Realty Trust said Monday it plans to sell 4.5 million common shares in a public offering, and use the proceeds to reduce debt and for general corporate purposes.

The real estate investment trust, which specializes in retail properties, said it will grant underwriters the option to purchase up to an additional 675,000 common shares to handle overallotments.

White Plains, N.Y.-based Acadia said the offering will dilute its previously forecast profit by 3 cents or 4 cents per share, and cut 7 or 8 cents per share from its projected funds from operations.

In February, Acadia said it expects 2009 earnings between 51 cents and 65 cents per share, and FFO between $1.05 to $1.19 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, were expecting FFO of $1.13 per share for the year before the offering announcement.

FFO, a widely used gauge of real estate operating performance, adds depreciation and amortization expenses, as well as other non-operating items, back to net income.

The book-running manager for the offering is Merrill Lynch & Co. The co-managers are JPMorgan, Barclays Capital, UBS Investment Bank and RBC Capital Markets.

Acadia shares closed Monday trading up 38 cents, or 3.1 percent, at $12.57, then gave up those gains and more after the announcement. In aftermarket electronic trading, shares fell 57 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $12.

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