Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Park Plaza Hotels Europe Near £350m Sale Leaseback of UK & European Hotels

CatererSearch / Caterer & Hotelkeeper - November 25, 2005

Park Plaza Hotels Europe is believed to be negotiating a £350m sale-and-leaseback deal for its UK and European assets. The hotel group is understood to be in discussions to sell its bricks-and-mortar assets to hotel investment company Farnsworth.

A spokesman for Park Plaza didn't deny the speculation, but would not "comment further at this stage". Park Plaza's portfolio currently includes 30 hotels, including two new four-star de luxe properties on London's South Bank, due to open in 2008 and 2010. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, November 28, 2005

Land Securities To Buy DEFRA Headquarters in London for GBP 164.2 Million

Sunday Times - November 28, 2005

Land Securities has announced that it has exchanged contracts for the freehold purchase of Ashdown House, Victoria Street, London SW1 for GBP 164.2 million, representing an initial yield of 5.8%. The 227,000 square foot office and retail property, purchased from Golfrate, holds a prominent position in Victoria and is fully let to the Government (DEFRA HQ) until June 2017. The ground floor retail holds various tenants including Dixons and Boots. Land Securities was advised by Franc Warwick. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Roal & SunAlliance Seeking £36 Million Sale Leaseback of Headquarters in Liverpool

The Liverpool Daily Post & Echo reports that ROYAL & SunAlliance is asking £36 million for its New Hall Place headquarters in Liverpool. The insurer intends to lease back about 290,000 square feet of the 390,000 square foot 1970s modernist building. Sphere: Related Content

Quintain Estates Agrees to Sale Leaseback of London Headquarters

Estates Gazette Interactive has reported that Quintain Estate's headquarters at 16 Grosvenor Street, W1, has been sold through Savills for £14.6 million. The property aas leased back to Quintain for 15 years with a break after year 10. Private clients of Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker acquired the 15,700 square foot building at a 4.5% yield. Quintain bought the long leasehold interest last year for £8m and carried out a major refurbishment. Sphere: Related Content

German Retailer Nearing 500 Million Euro Sale Leaseback of Property Portfolio

Forbes / AFX / Handelsblatt - November 23, 2005

Metro AG is expected to sell the real estate assets of do-it-yourself unit Praktiker AG for around 500 mln eur, Handelsblatt said. It said Metro will select the successful buyer in the next three weeks. Metro has already shortened the list of bidders, with only Deutsche Bank AG and the London-based financial investor Dawnay Day as the last two interested companies remaining. The two have submit bids of between 500 mln eur and 520 mln.

Praktiker is Europe's fourth-biggest do-it-yourself retailer behind the U.K.'s Kingfisher Plc, France's Leroy Merlin and Germany's OBI, owned by retailer Tengelmann Group. On November 22 Metro AG raised 500 million euros ($587 million) when it sold nearly 60% of the firm in the first IPO of a German retailer in more than four years. Sphere: Related Content

Vendex KBB Enters One Billion Euro Sale Leaseback of 73 Stores

Cinven Web Site - November 25, 2005

Vendex KBB is pleased to announce the sale of its property portfolio to a consortium arranged by IEF Capital N.V., a joint venture between IEF Nederland B.V. and Bouwfonds Asset Management B.V., a 100% subsidiary of ABN AMRO Bouwfonds N.V. IEF Capital Delta NV and PGGM are major participants in the consortium. PGGM, one of the largest Dutch pension funds, is also a co-financier through inflation-linked products. The asset management of the real estate portfolio will be performed by Bouwfonds Asset Management, which is involved in financing the transaction as well.

With this transaction, Vendex KBB is entering into a long term sale-and-lease-back agreement for 73 stores and other properties occupied by HEMA, V&D and Bijenkorf, which will provide these formats with long term stability and operational flexibility to continue to perform successfully in the Dutch retail market. For Vendex KBB this is a significant milestone in the implementation of its strategy to focus on its core retail activities.

Vendex KBB was advised by Lazard and CB Richard Ellis.

(The Financial Times reported that the 6 million square foot portfolio is located entirely within the Netherlands and consists of Vendex's department stores. The portfolio was reportedly leased back to Vendex KBB under 20-year leases. Vendex was taken private by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts which has since sold stakes to Permira and Cinven, private equiity firms. A Dutch group, Alpinvest, owns a small stake.) Sphere: Related Content

Little Chef Completes Sale Leaseback of 65 Restaurants

CatererSearch.com - November 21, 2005

The People's Restaurant Group Ltd took ownership of Little Chef Restaurants and the Little Chef brand on 20th October 2005. The company purchased the restaurant chain from Travelodge Hotels Ltd, a company backed by Permira Investment Fund Managers. Little Chef will continue to trade under its brand name and as Britain's largest roadside restaurant chain.

Little Chef has appointed the team behind BP's Wild Bean cafe to roll out its new "Bean Here" grab-and-go offer. The GBP 5 million roll-out, which will create 1,000 jobs, will start at the rate of four per week in January 2006. It is being funded by the sale-and-leaseback of 65 Little Chef sites.

Wosskow and co-owner Simon Heath also plan to spend GBP 1 million on changing roadside signage and adding a minimum of three new signs per unit across the 250-strong estate. Sphere: Related Content

APN European Retail Trust Pays $251 Million Euro for 23 Net Leased Assets

The Australian - November 16, 2005

APN European Retail Trust has announced that it will add 23 assets to its portfolio, lifting its total asset value to nearly $500 million. The total value of the 23 assets is $251.4 million.

'It is the only (Australian) stock which offers exposure to European retail properties. The new assets have long-term and quality lease covenants,' he said. The assets - 16 in Greece and seven in Germany - were purchased from two unidentified vendors, at yields of 6.9 per cent and 7.8 per cent, respectively, after acquisition costs. Mr Boothman said the properties in Greece were leased to one of the world's largest supermarket chains, Carrefour, from France, with an average lease expiry of 17 years. The German properties were leased to Roller, a warehouse-style furniture retailer, and carried an average lease of 10.2 years. The acquisitions are to be settled next month. Mr Boothman said the total transaction cost to be funded by debt and equity would be $276 million.

APN will raise about $131.2 million to fund the latest acquisitions through a non-renounceable entitlement offer of nine fully paid units for 13 partly paid units, at an issue price of $1.04 per fully paid unit. The balance will come from debt facilities. The trust would have a gearing of 54-55 per cent.

The vehicle, listed in July, already has six assets - four shopping centres in Spain and two in Italy. Mr Boothman said the trust would continue to look for acquisitions across Europe, which remained under-supplied in terms of shopping centres. APN said partly paid units in the trust had had a strong start since its initial public offering in July. The units are showing around 13 per cent capital growth, on top of the IPO forecast annualised income entitlement of 9 percent. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, November 26, 2005

IPD Study Shows Substantial Yield Differences Across Europe

IPD Web Site - November 22, 2005

A study by IPD shows Substantial variations in the pricing of investment property remained across Europe at the end of 2004 despite a benign environment of low inflation and low interest rates. The research, sponsored by Arlington, DTZ and MEAG shows results for twelve European countries across the four main sectors: office, retail, industrial and residential. Sphere: Related Content

Homburg Invest to Buy Four Net Leased Properties for $163 Million

Homburg Invest Web Site - November 24, 2005

Homburg Invest has announced the planned purchase of four large commercial properties in The Netherlands in the first quarter of 2006, subject to the finalization of its due diligence. The original agreement in principle on all of this portfolio was first announced on June 23, 2005 and closing on this transaction was expected to take place o n November 15, 2005.

The four commercial properties include the KPN Telecom Head Office in Groningen, the Phillips Lighting Headquarters and Research facilities in Eindhoven and two David Lloyd facilities in Rotterdam. All four properties are leased by world class, triple A public companies on a long -term lease basis. The aggregate cost to Homburg Invest for these properties will amount to approximately CAD $196 million (EUR €140 million or $163 million) and will be financed by assumption of existing debt of CAD $147 million (EUR €105 million), and shares of Homburg Invest (subject to TSX approval) and cash totalling CAD $49 million (EUR €35 million). Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Barclays Global Investors Agrees to New Headquarters Building in San Francisco

CoStar Group - November 21, 2005

Equity Office Properties Trust (NYSE:EOP) plans to begin construction next March on its 10-story, 335,000-square-foot Foundry Square I office building in downtown San Francisco after signing Barclays Global Investors to a 321,545-square-foot, long-term lease. CBRE represented Barclays in the deal.

The new building, which will be located at 400 Howard Street in the South of Market St. submarket, will serve as the investment advisor’s new headquarters when it is completed in December 2007. Barclays has been based in San Francisco since 1971 and has more than 1,000 employees in the area. Its headquarters is currently located in 45 Fremont Street, a 34-story, 580,000-square-foot office tower owned by Shorenstein and MetLife. The new building will be the third of four 10-story office buildings planned for site fronting the busy intersection of 1st and Howard streets in downtown San Francisco.

Billed as one of the world’s largest asset managers, Barclays Global Investors had more than $1.4 trillion in assets under management as of June 30, 2005, for more than 2,700 clients in 48 countries. The firm is owned by Barclays PLC. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Germany Considering Large Scale Sale Leasback of Government Property

Berliner Zeiting has reported that Germany's new ruling coalition of conservatives and Social Democrats is considering the sale and leaseback of federal government real estate to finance part of a 25 billion euros investment programme. The paper cited unidentified coalition sources as saying the properties would include those housing ministries, the chancellery, some federal agencies and army barracks. A similar initiative was recently completed in the conservative-ruled state of Hesse, the paper reported. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Lexington JV Acquires Accor North America HQ for $32.0 Million

PRNewswire-FirstCall - November 11, 2005

Lexington Corporate Properties Trust (NYSE: LXP) announced that one of its joint venture programs acquired an office facility in Carrollton, Texas for approximately $32.0 million. The facility is a two-story office building containing approximately 138,443 net rentable square feet on a parcel containing approximately 8.2 acres. The facility is leased to Motel 6 Operating, L.P. under the terms of a modified gross lease through July 31, 2015. The obligations of Motel 6 Operating, L.P. under the lease are unconditionally guaranteed by Accor, S.A.

In connection with the acquisition of the facility, Lexington's joint venture program obtained non-recourse first mortgage financing in the original principal amount of approximately $20.8 million. The loan bears interest at a fixed rate of 5.274% and matures on or about July 1, 2015. Sphere: Related Content

Boyne USA Agrees to $47 Million Sale Leaseback of Resort Properties

Commercial Property News - November 15, 2005

Boyne USA Inc. and CNL Income Properties Inc. have agreed to a $47.5 million sale-leaseback transaction involving two lifestyle properties, Cypress Mountain ski resort, in British Columbia, and the scenic Gatlinburg Ski Lift, in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

This is the first sale-leaseback the family-run Boyne USA has completed in its 57-year history. Boyne USA is considered the largest operator of four-season resorts in North America.

CNL Income Properties is pursuing diversity in the lifestyle and recreation sector, targeting such properties as golf courses, ski resorts, marinas, campgrounds, merchandise marts, entertainment centers and attractions. Since December 2004, it has acquired an estimated $489 million in lifestyle property, including a recent deal with Great Wolf Resorts worth $114.5 million. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, November 17, 2005

SBC Completes $338 Million Sale Leaseback of Office Campus Near Chicago

Chicago Tribune - November 16, 2005

In what could be the largest suburban office building transaction of the year, a real estate investment trust advised by Inland Real Estate Group has purchased the Hoffman Estates campus of SBC Communications Inc. in a $338 million sale/leaseback deal. As a part of a long-term agreement the telecommunications giant will occupy the top-quality, three-building complex, which was once the headquarters of Ameritech Corp.

Renamed SBC Center after the San Antonio-based company's 1999 acquisition of Ameritech, the 152-acre site is along the Northwest Tollway near Barrington Road. The buildings were constructed between 1991 and 1992. The campus totals 1.69 million square feet, including common areas such as hallways. The price is about $200 a square foot. About 1.3 million square feet of space is contained in a single, four-story structure. Not included in the deal is about 80 acres of vacant land that SBC continues to own.

SBC signed an initial 11-year lease. But with renewal options, the lease could run until 2045, Inland said. In the first year, SBC will pay $22.7 million in rent, Inland said. As a result, Inland's initial return would be 6.7 percent, a low yield that reflects SBC's creditworthiness. The price surpasses the $257 million paid this year by Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corp. for nearly 1.4 million square feet of office space near O'Hare International Airport.

The SBC transaction is the second big suburban office acquisition that Oak Brook-based Inland has made this year. In July another Inland-managed REIT paid $220 million for the Lincolnshire headquarters of human resources firm Hewitt Associates Inc. Including the SBC transaction, Inland says it has acquired more than $4.4 billion in real estate assets this year, making the firm one of the largest property buyers in the nation, managing a $13 billion portfolio. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Club Med Agrees to 100 Million Euro Sale Leaseback of Four Resort Hotels

Times Online - November 11, 2005

Club Mediterrane has agreed to a 100 million euro sale leaseback of four resort hotels with Heron International. The off-market deal was brokered by CB Richard Ellis. The properties are located in the prime holiday destinations of Val Thorens and Tignes Val Claret in the French Alps, Cadiz in southern Spain and Sicily. The hotels incorporate a total of 1,318 rooms with an average occupancy rate of over 90 percent. The sites each have land for further development and each of the properties are on long leases with annual indexation.

Gerald Ronson, chief executive of Heron, said that the properties were a valuable addition to the company's expanding European leisure portfolio. Heron has concentrated on developing giant leisure and entertainment centres in Europe, under the brand Heron City. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Dresdner Bank Close to 2 Billion Euro Sale Leaseback

Forbes /AFX News Limited - November 9, 2005

US private equity firms Fortress and Carlyle, banking giant Citigroup Inc and three other parties have submitted bids for 300 properties belonging to Allianz AG's banking unit Dresdner Bank AG, Financial Times Deutschland reported, citing sources within the financial industry.

Dresdner Bank has received offers of up to 2 bln eur for about 300 of its offices and bank branches in what would be the largest ever sale-and-leaseback project by a German company, the newspaper said.

'The sale process is proceeding according to plan,' a spokesman for Dresdner Bank told the newspaper, while declining to further comment. The newspaper said the sale is expected to be completed by early 2006. Sphere: Related Content

Franklin Electronic Publishers Agrees to Sale Leaseback of NJ Headquarters

Philadelphia Business Journal - November 9, 2005

Franklin Electronic Publishers, Inc. said Wednesday it has agreed to sell its Burlington City, N.J., headquarters for $10.3 million and lease it back for 10 years. The electronic book manufacturer will realize a $4.8 million gain on the sale and will amortize the gain over the course of the lease, which initially requires Franklin to pay $736,000 in rent per year.

Franklin (AMEX: FEP) will use $2.4 million from the sale to retire its preferred stock. It will use the rest for working capital. The sale must be approved by Franklin's board of directors. If it is, Franklin expects it to close this quarter. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, November 11, 2005

Spectrum Brands Close to 810,000 SF Warehouse Deal Near Atlanta

CoStar Group - November 10, 2005

Eighteen months after relocating to Atlanta and six months after dropping the Rayovac Corp. name, Spectrum Brands Inc. (NYSE: SPC) is close to making a major space commitment in Jackson County.

The Atlanta-based consumer products giant, represented by consultant Deloitte & Touche, is in negotiations to lease a huge warehouse at Walnut Fork Distribution Center in the city of Jefferson. The 810,000-square-foot building was co-developed by a partnership of J.W. Rooker & Associates and Collier Properties and has been sitting empty since its completion earlier this year.

Earlier this fall, the building was rumored to be on the sales block, marketed by industrial investment sales guru Chris Riley and his team at CB Richard Ellis. Apparently, the sales process was halted once it became clear that the building would land one of the large deals floating around the Northeast submarket. Rooker President Dan Pattillo would not comment on a pending deal for the building or whether it was slated to be sold. Calls to Spectrum Brands were not returned by press time.

The Spectrum lease would be the third large deal to land in the Northeast in recent weeks. Progressive Lighting is putting the final touches on its 700,000 square feet (with expansion room to 1 million square feet) with Duke Realty Corp. (NYSE: DRE) at Park 85 in Braselton, and computer seller Systemax Inc. is in negotiations for approximately 500,000 square feet with IDI at Hamilton Mill Business Center in Gwinnett County. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Taiga Building Products Agrees to Sale Leaseback of 17 Distribution Facilities

Taiga Building Products Ltd. Web Site - November 7, 2005

Taiga Building Products Ltd. announced today that it has signed an agreement with 603048 B.C. Ltd. for the sale and leaseback of 17 of Taiga's distribution and manufacturing facilities. Upon closing, Taiga will lease each of these facilities from the purchaser for initial periods of up to 20 years. The aggregate purchase price to be paid to Taiga at closing is approximately $52,000,000.

The closing of the transaction is subject to Taiga and the purchaser settling the terms of the leases and other customary purchaser's due diligence conditions. The completion of the transaction is expected to occur in February, 2006. Net proceeds of the transaction are expected to be used for strategic and/or other purposes.

Taiga is Canada's largest independent distributor of building products, by revenue. Sphere: Related Content

Lockheed Enters Sale Leaseback of Industrial Complex in Akron, OH

The Beacon Journal - November 8, 2005

Lockheed Martin has sold its Akron properties -- but not the iconic Airdock -- off Massillon Road to a California-based real estate group that is one of Ohio's largest property owners and also a principal in Canal Place.

Lockheed Martin, with its 500 Akron employees, isn't going anywhere, though. It is leasing back space in the massive complex next to Akron Fulton International Airport, near the Rubber Bowl and Derby Downs, for another seven years. The sale of 12 parcels to Industrial Realty Group subsidiary LMA Commerce Ltd., valued at about $12.5 million according to county records, closed on Friday.

The deal brings to closure Lockheed Martin's announcement in May, when the defense contractor said it was negotiating to sell the Akron property it acquired in 1996 and lease back the space. Lockheed Martin said it will keep the Airdock, Akron's largest landmark, where it is developing its proposed High Altitude Airship program.

Industrial Realty Group wants to retain the 2.1 million-square-foot property as a significant employment center for manufacturing, warehousing and office space, said Stuart Lichter, founder and managing partner of IRG. The company specializes in finding ways to reuse closed properties, including sites such as Canal Place.

"Our plan is to work with existing tenants," he said. In addition, IRG is negotiating with other businesses to move into the available 500,000 to 800,000 square feet of space, he said.

The sale allows Lockheed Martin's Maritime Systems & Sensors division to focus on its business at the site and not have to worry about being a landlord, Lichter said. Sphere: Related Content

Sephora Signs 12 Year Warehouse Lease

Commercial Property News - November 03, 2005

In one of the largest industrial transactions in the Mid-Atlantic this year, a limited-partnership operated by Philadelphia-based BPG Properties Ltd. has leased a 316,524-square-foot distribution center in Belcamp, Md., to beauty supply store Sephora USA Inc. After completing the transaction, BPG immediately listed the property, which it bought only two years ago, for sale with Trammell Crow Co. Sephora expanded into space formerly occupied by a third-party logistics firm with declining space needs. The building could sell in the $22-to-$24 million range.

Cushman & Wakefield Inc. represented Sephora in the lease negotiations, which expanded Sephora's existing 200,000-square-foot lease to encompass the entire building and extended its lease to a 12-year term. A division of Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton, Sephora operates 110 beauty products stores in the U.S. and Can" Sphere: Related Content

DBS Group Nearing $412 Million Sale Leaseback of Singapore Headquarters

Forbes / AFX News Limited - November 8, 2005

DBS Group is near to completing the sale of its headquarters here, the DBS Building, the Business Times reported, citing unidentified sources. The newspaper said that the price is believed to be slightly over 700 mln sgd ($412 Million) and that the buyer could be a Goldman Sachs real estate fund.

The property has been eyed by several investors in recent months, but the offer by the Goldman Sachs fund is said to be the highest so far. Market watchers expect the bank, which occupies all of the DBS Building Tower One and almost half of Tower Two, to lease back the property for at least five years, the Business Times said.

The report said property analysts expect a net yield for the buyer of about 4 pct on the acquisition of the DBS Building Towers One and Two, based on the Goldman Sachs fund's proposed price. A price of, say, 708 mln sgd would work out to about 830 sgd ($488) per square foot for the property's total lettable floor area of about 852,000 square feet.

The newspaper said there is also talk that DBS may be looking to sell the PWC Building here, in which it has a 70 pct stake, to Goldman Sachs. The property is valued at about 500 mln sgd ($294 Million), or about 1,400 sgd per ($823) square foot of net lettable area. (1 usd = 1.70 sgd) Sphere: Related Content

Sanofi-aventis Group Signs Lease for New U.S. Headquarters

Yahoo / PRNewswire-FirstCall - November 7, 2005

The Sanofi-aventis Group, the world's third largest pharmaceutical company, has announced that it has signed an agreement to move its U.S. headquarters from its current location at Somerset Corporate Center in Bridgewater to 55 Corporate Drive, also in Bridgewater, to combine the headquarters activities into one location and to support future growth. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

The move is scheduled to begin in December 2005. The three-building complex at 55 Corporate Drive is situated on 150 acres on Route 206 near Interstates 287 and 78. The current plans call for a total reconfiguration of the interior space of the existing buildings. Full occupancy of the approximately 670,000 square feet is expected by the end of 2006.

A joint venture between The Gale Company, SL Green and a client of Principal Real Estate Investors acquired the 55 Corporate Drive office complex from AT&T Corporation earlier this year.

Following completion of the move, all U.S. Pharmaceutical Operations employees will be located at the new site. Sphere: Related Content

Coop Norden Near $531 Million Sale Leaseback of its Property Portfolio

IGD Retail Analysis News - November 8, 2005

Coop Norden, the Scandinavian retail chain, has short listed three companies for a 450 million euro ($530 Million) sale and leaseback of its property portfolio. The three firms include Reit Asset Management, London and Regional and Rock Capital which is preparing a joint bid with GMAC the finance group. The Scandinavian corporate finance house Catella is overseeing the sale and leaseback process, which if successful will be used to reduce Coop Norden's 625 million euro debt.

Co-Op Norden has 1,080 outlets across Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The portfolio, which is primarily Swedish, includes 12 cash-and-carry warehouses, 113 Konsum food shops and other diverse properties. The sales process is being overseen by Catella and should be completed by year end. Sources estimate the initial yield on the properties will be from 6.0% to 6.5%. Sphere: Related Content

US Real Estate Groups Hunt for Capital in Australia

The The Star Online - November 7, 2005

US real estate groups are flocking to Australia to tap a juicy source of capital: A$4 billion of annual pension savings chasing property.

With 10% of Australia's share market devoted to property, compared with about 2% of the US market, US real estate groups see a new wellspring of money. The drawcard for the Americans is that Australian property fund managers value the steady income that comes from real estate, and tend to be longer-term investors than their US peers, who are more focused on capital growth.

Tishman Speyer, which owns iconic properties like New York's Rockefeller Center, last December became the first US group to float a trust in Australia, its only publicly-traded fund worldwide. It raised A$520mil to buy a 45.9% stake in a US$1.85bil portfolio of office buildings mainly in New York, Chicago and San Francisco in a joint venture with Singapore's Government Investment Corp Real Estate Pte Ltd (GIC) and Tishman Speyer.

It was followed by Reckson Realty Corp, which raised A$263mil in September with the float of Reckson New York Property Trust, giving Australians a 75% stake in offices in and around New York, while Reckson kept 25%.

Now, there are companies flying over without any deals to sell, just to meet fund managers in Australia. To the extent a deal ever materialises, the best way for us to get execution is to build those relationships well in advance of that,” said Maryland-based shopping centre group Federal Realty Inc vice-president of investor relations, Andrew Blocher.

The job has become a little harder for US groups, as the gap between cheap debt and rental yields in the US has shrunk, spurring Australian property investors to shift their own offshore focus to Europe.

The US groups say they are not coming to Australia because the capital is cheaper than at home, or because they are looking to unload inferior properties. “If I look at US office acquisitions, Australian capital is by no means cheap,” said Tishman Speyer's Feldstein. Tishman Speyer chose Australia to complete the funding of the group's joint venture with Singapore's GIC, seeing it as a potential platform for a global real estate fund, he said.

Reckson's fund manager in Australia, Francis Sheehan, said if Reckson had been looking to dump assets, it would have been better off selling them in the US. “We could have gained a much higher price,” he said. “But, we retained 25%, which is pretty high in the industry, because we believe in assets and markets.” Reckson is managing the trust with no performance and no promotion fees in contrast to Tishman Speyer.

Californian property giant Maguire Properties Inc joined the trend, selling down stakes in 5 buildings into a US$1.2bil joint venture with Macquarie Office Trust. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Kerr Drug Completes $52 Million Sale Leaseback of 20 Drug Stores

Businesswire - November 4, 2005

GMAC Commercial Holding Capital Corp. recently purchased of a portfolio of 20 free-standing drug stores for $52,100,000. Capital Corp.'s Net Lease Acquisition Group negotiated the sale/leaseback transaction with an affiliate of Kerr Drug, a Raleigh, N.C.-based regional chain of drug stores.

Net Lease Acquisition Group Vice Presidents Patrick Pearson and Gregg Fields structured 20-year, triple net leases for each of the stores. Eighteen of the stores are in North Carolina and the remaining two are located in South Carolina. All of the properties are fairly new--the oldest was built between seven and eight years ago--and the majority are self-developed.

GMAC Commercial Mortgage (GMACCM) Vice President Jere Lucey, of the New York loan origination office, arranged approximately 75 percent loan-to-value first mortgage financing for the transaction through GMACCM's Proprietary Lending Group. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Lenovo Building $84 Million Office Campus Near Research Triangle Park

Commercial Property News - November 1, 2005

Lenovo USA Inc. has signed a record-breaking build-to-suit deal with Duke Realty Corp. to occupy 500,000 square feet of office space in a three-building corporate campus in Morrisville, N.C. The Perimeter Park development project is estimated to cost about $70 million, while the lease is reportedly worth about $100 million.

"I'm not aware if there has ever been a lease this large in Raleigh," said Andrew Kelton, senior vice president of Duke's Raleigh operations. "And it may be the largest we've done for Duke as a corporation."

Japanese PC manufacturer Lenovo bought IBM Think Pad in May and is now consolidating 578,000 square feet of inherited space in Raleigh's Research Triangle Park. Lenovo was able to sign its 10-year lease at below market rate and it was given $16 million worth of tax incentives from local and state authorities. It also has a development option for a fourth property in the park.

The first two buildings in the campus, both five stories with 179,000 square feet, will include mainly offices with some lab space. Building Three will include 143,000 square feet on four floors. Though initial design renderings are still being tweaked to reflect Lenovo's high-tech image, the groundbreaking for Building One has been moved up to next month, with an expected completion of January 2007. Building Two should be finished by February 2007, and Building Three in early 2009.

Kelton said that he believes his company was able to win the huge contract in part because of Perimeter Park's prime location, near Interstate 540 and the Raleigh/Durham International Airport. It already has 2 million square feet of offices in the park, with 1 million square feet of developable space. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Mitre 10 Selling 3 New Superstores in New Zealand

Bayleys Real Estate Web Site - November 4, 2005

Mitre 10, the leading home improvement retailer in New Zealand, is selling three stores at auction through Bayleys Real Estate.

Mitre 10 is taking an initial lease over each property for 12 years, with one nine-year right of renewal followed by three six-year rights of renewal. The leases incorporate rent reviews adjusted to CPI increases and to market. The three properties having a combined annual net rental income of$2.625 million.

Mitre 10 has 118 Mitre 10 stores, 83 Hammer Hardware outlets and 18 Palmers Gardenworld centres. Sphere: Related Content

Aker ASA Enters $212 Million Sale Leaseback on New Oslo Headquarters

Forbes.com / AFX - Oslo, Norway - November 3, 2005

Aker ASA said it has agreed to sell all the shares in its real estate company which owns the property and the building project for a new Aker headquarters, to Naeringsbygg Holding 2 AS for 1.4 bln nkr. Naeringsbygg Holding 2 is owned by the customers of investment company Acta ASA. Aker will book a gain of around 400 mln nkr on the transaction in the fourth quarter.

Aker will rent back the offices for a period 12 years once the building process is completed. Næringsbygg Holding 2 AS has the necessary equity to finance part of the purchase, but the transaction is pending sufficient financing, Aker said. Sphere: Related Content

Degussa Sells and Leases Back Offices in Frankfurt

Degussa Web Site - October 17, 2005

Degussa AG, Dusseldorf, Germany, has sold its administrative site in Weissfrauenstrasse, Frankfurt, Germany, to Deutsche Immobilien Chancen AG (DIC) and Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds. The agreements were signed last Friday and title is scheduled to pass to the new owners on December 31, 2005. From the same date, Degussa will rent a large proportion of premises from the new owners under a ten-year rental contract.

Degussa and the new owners have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. Degussa will remain responsible for facility management and maintenance at the site. At present about 950 employees from a variety of business and service units work in the buildings, which are located directly on the Main river. Sphere: Related Content

German State of Hesse Agrees to $1.3 Billion Sale Leaseback

Bloomberg - November 1, 2005

CommerzLeasing und Immobilien AG, the property leasing unit of Germany's No. 3 publicly traded bank, agreed to pay 1.07 billion euros ($1.3 billion) to buy and lease back German state-owned real estate.

The state of Hesse agreed to sell 18 properties including its finance and interior ministries, police stations and other offices, according to an e-mail today. The government will lease back the space for about 55.3 million euros annually (5.2% initial yield). The buildings encompass 396,700 square meters (4.27 million square feet) of rental space.

CommerzLeasing, which outbid a pool of predominantly non- German competitors, is financing the purchase with 1 billion euros in loans from Hypo Real Estate AG, according to the statement. The deal is subject to state parliamentary approval. Hesse is looking to real estate sales to free up funds.

EuroProperty News reports that the portfolio will be leased back by the state for up to 20 years. The portfolio, marketed by PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Richard Ellis, is reportedly the first major one to be sold by a German state. Hamburg is currently marketing two portfolios while Hessen plans to sell 770 million eoros worth of assets next year.

Other states are expected to market property after such strong bidding for Hessen's assets. Hessen's recently issued 10-year Eurobond rated AA+ by Standard & Poor's offered a yield of 3.25%, or 1.5% less than the property yield on this transaction. Sphere: Related Content

Club Med Completes 225 Million Euro Sale Leaseback of Four Mountain Villages

Reuters - November 2, 2005

French resort operator Club Mediterranee (CMIP.PA) has sold four vacation villages to property investment firm Gecina for 225 million euros ($270 million) in a deal that will return it to breakeven for the first time in five years, it said on Wednesday. The deal comes as a number of French companies take advantage of a short-term tax break to divest property assets, lightening their balance sheets in the process.

Club Med, which pioneered fun-in-the-sun holiday villages in the 1950s, said the deal would cut its debt by 175 million euros, produce a capital gain of 40 million euros and bring it to breakeven in net profit terms over its 2005 financial year for the first time since 2001. It has agreed to lease back the villages on 12-year renewable contracts with a net rent equivalent to 7 percent of the overall deal.

The deal follows a 1 billion euro agreement in March between Accor, Europe's biggest hotelier, and real estate firm Fonciere des Murs (FERP.PA) covering leases on 128 hotels. The flurry of activity stems from France's decision last year to cut the capital gains tax to 16.5 percent, from 30 percent before, until 2007 for companies selling real estate assets to listed French property firms, known as SIICs.

"The emergence of SIIC activity in hotels is hotting up, and with the capital gains tax incentive, we expect to see new deals, notably with Accor in the future," said Vicki Lee, a leisure sector analyst at UBS. Accor (ACCP.PA), which owns 29 percent of Club Med, has put 10 of its upscale Sofitel hotels up for sale. Sphere: Related Content

HSBC May Empark on Sale Leaseback Program

EuroProperty News reports that CB Richard Ellis has won a property management contract with International bank HSBC believed to be worth £25m-£30m a year in fees. CBRE will reportedly assume responsibility for HSBC's entire European property management function including consultation, deals and property management.

CBRE is expected to hire around 100 staff to manage the project. The contract, which
will be run from London, makes CBRE responsible for the complete strategic
management of HSBC's global portfolio, worth around £40bn. Transaction work may
come from sale-and-leasebacks. There is speculation that HSBC's £490m Canary
Wharf HQ could be sold and leased back, as its Singapore offices were. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, November 04, 2005

New Net Lease REIT Closes $240 Million IPO

Newkirk Realty Trust Web Site - November 2, 2005

Newkirk Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:NKT) announced today the closing of its initial public offering of 15,000,000 shares of common stock at a price to the public of $16.00 per share.

Newkirk Realty Trust is a real estate investment trust that isthe general partner of, and owns a 30.1% controlling interest in, The Newkirk Master Limited Partnership. The Newkirk Master Limited Partnership is a publicly reporting limited partnership that owns a diversified portfolio of triple-net leased properties and other real estate-related assets. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Australian Trust Acquires Two Net Leased Properties in US

The Financial Standard - October 26, 2005

Listed property trust Mariner American Property Income Trust (MAPIT) is to buy two US properties with a combined worth of just under $160 million. MAPIT has entered into contracts to purchase the FedEx freight terminal near New York City for US$25 million ($34 million) and the headquarters of computer security group RSA in Boston for US$95 million ($125 million).

The acquisitions will more than double the total value of properties held by the Trust to $286 million. MAPIT's investment strategy is to invest in high-grade US properties with long-term quality tenants. With the FedEx purchase, FedEx Freight East Inc will lease the property for a 13-year term. With the RSA Security Headquarters, RSA will lease for an 11-year term. According to the group, the FedEx property boasts a lease yield of 7.3 percent while the RSA office building will return a higher 8.16 percent over the term of the lease. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Tower Records Completes $28 Million Sale Leaseback of Manhattan Store

Real Estate Weekly - 26 October 2005

Real Estate Weekly has reported that Tower Records has sold its flagship store at 692 Broadway in New York City for $28 million in a sale-leaseback transaction with Vornado Realty Trust. Tower Records, which recently came out of a pre-packed bankruptcy, owned five contiguous ground floor retail condominium units totaling 35,752 square feet in the Silk Building, a 12-story mixed-use building, on East Fourth Street between Broadway and Lafayette. Tower Records will lease back the units from Vornado for an initial term of ten years, with the option to extend for two additional five year terms. Sphere: Related Content

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