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- April 1, 2014: Vol. 26, Number 4

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The world in 30 REITs: Sam Zell thinks most REITs are not relevant (except his, of course)

by Brad Thomas

Most people know about Sam Zell, both for his real estate exploits and his infamous leveraged buyout of the Tribune Co. media conglomerate, which filed for bankruptcy in 2008. The vision for the legendary investor was to roll up the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and other media assets and amass a media empire worth billions.

Of course, we all know that the bubble burst for Zell as he managed to rack up more than $13 billion in debt at the Tribune in a “bad bet” driven more by greed and enrichment than protecting an enduring business icon. Many participants, including Zell, were richly rewarded as corporate executives cashed out while others were not so fortunate.

The world in 30 REITs

We all know Zell is a char

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