Escondido-based Realty Income Corp. (NYSE: O) has commenced a public stock offering expected to bring net proceeds of approximately $459.5 million.

Officials of the real estate investment trust said the company is offering 12 million shares of its common stock, priced at $39.96 per share. The offering is expected to close April 1.

Realty Income has granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 1.8 million additional shares of common stock. All shares in the offering are being sold by the company.

The company expects to use net proceeds to repay borrowings under its $1.5 billion acquisition credit facility, which it uses to fund real estate acquisitions.

Realty Income, founded in 1969, invests primarily in retail, industrial and related commercial properties.