Monday, January 30, 2006

AAA Signs 10-Year Lease on 200,000-SF Customer Support Center

Commercial Property News - January 27, 2006

The California State Automobile Association and AAA Arizona have joined forces on a 10-year lease for a 31-acre, 206,333-square-foot regional customer service and information technology center in Glendale, Ariz. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The long-term lease and size of the facility make it the largest office lease in this submarket in recent history, Phil Breidenbach, senior vice president of Colliers International's office properties division, which represented the building's owner, West Coast Capital Partners of Los Angeles.

The property is located at 5353 West Bell Rd., the site is adjacent to the Talavi Business Park. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Thompson Property in Toronto Sold

Commercial Property News - January 25, 2006

Munich's KanAm US-grundinvest Fonds, as advised by Atlanta-based WestWind Capital Partners, has obtained Corporate Plaza, a 13-story, 206,109-square-foot Class A office in Toronto. KanAm bought the building, which is located in the city's Metro East Submarket, from Caliper Equities Ltd. for an undisclosed amount. The site, located near Highway 401, could support development of an additional 13-story office. The Carswell division of Thomson currently has a long-term lease in the existing building. Sphere: Related Content

New Canadian Retail REIT Formed With 44 Sobeys Grocery Stores

Financial Post - January 25, 2006

The parent company of grocery giant Sobeys Inc. said yesterday it is creating a new trust for its real-estate assets, another strong example of a retailer taking advantage of sky-high property values and insatiable investor demand.

Stellarton, N.S.-based Empire Company Ltd., which owns 68.3% of Sobey's Inc., said yesterday it will move assets from its real-estate division into a new entity to be called Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust. The initial public offering is expected to be worth $150-million. Crombie will purchase 44 commercial properties with seven million square feet from Empire's wholly-owned ECL Properties Ltd., which used to be known as Crombie Properties. Empire will retain a 49.5% stake in the REIT through ECL Properties. ECL Properties is the largest commercial property landlord in Atlantic Canada, and has interests in Quebec and Ontario. On top of developing and managing strip malls, it also owns office buildings.

More and more companies are looking at how to monetize the rising value of their real-estate holdings, while investment bankers actively court retailers such as Loblaw Cos. Ltd. on the merits of rolling real estate into a REIT. Others retailers are simply selling off property. Last year Canadian Tire sold $229-million of its real estate to H&R REIT, leasing back the properties on a long-term basis. Some non-real estate companies are now attracting as much interest for their property assets as their core businesses. One recent example is Hudson's Bay Co., now the subject of a takeover battle, which is said to have as much as $770-million in real estate.

"Most retailers want to retain control of the real estate but if they can sell to a REIT and then control the REIT, they get the best of both worlds," said one Bay Street analyst. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, January 27, 2006

Greek Government Drafting Leaseback Legislation - January 26, 2006

The Greek government said yesterday that it expects soon to upgrade part of its massive real estate portfolio through financial leasing tools that will allow it to develop and improve some 1.8 billion euros' worth of state property. Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said that the preparation of a draft bill allowing for sale and leaseback programs is in its final stage and will soon be available for public discussion.

"The state has a very big real estate portfolio which has not been managed with the efficiency required," Alogoskoufis said after an Inner Cabinet meeting. Many state services are currently housed in run-down buildings desperately in need of repair work and a facelift. According to the finance minister, the legislation will allow state services on tight budgets to improve their facilities despite limited resources.

The Finance Ministry will use the leaseback options for its prime real estate in the center of Athens and along the fast-developing Attiki Odos zone. Sphere: Related Content

Whirlpool Leases 852,000-SF Distribution Center in Fort Worth

Whirlpool To Open New Distribution Center in Fort Worth - CoStar Group - January 26, 2006

The Whirlpool Corp., a global manufacturer and marketer of home appliances, inked a deal to occupy 852,000 square feet at 1101 Everman Parkway in Fort Worth, TX. The company is slated to move into the entire facility at Carter Industrial Park by March and will remain at the park for the next two years. The company also has another warehouse facility at 14900 Frye Road in Fort Worth.

The property on Everman, formerly occupied by General Motors, is a distribution facility with 55 dock-high doors and a 38-foot ceiling height. More importantly, this location also provides rail service via the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line.

Walter Floyd with NAI Huff Partners and Trey Fricke of Lee & Associates represented the landlord, Industrial Realty Group. The brokers also have the property listed on the market as an investment sale. William Callahan with Jones Lang LaSalle negotiated on behalf of Whirlpool. Sphere: Related Content

Tweeter Home Entertainment Closes Sale Leaseback of HQ & Distribution Center

Tweeter Web Site - January 26, 2006

Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWTR), the national specialty consumer electronics retailer, announced that they had completed a sale and leaseback of their corporate headquarters and New England distribution center on January 13, 2006. The company received $13.6 million in cash as a result of this transaction. Proceeds will be used to reduce debt. Sphere: Related Content

SMK Speedy International Inc. Announces Sale Leaseback of 58 Service Centers

CCNMatthews - January 26, 2006

SMK Speedy International Inc. ('Speedy') today announced it has entered into an agreement to sell and leaseback the real estate for 58 company owned properties. The agreement is subject to certain conditions including due diligence and the transaction is expected to close in late March or April.

The proceeds from the successful completion of this transaction will be substantially used to provide full and early repayment of the $19 million principal and approximately $2.6 million of the deferred interest to the Senior Subordinated Noteholders

SMK Speedy is a leading automobile service specialist with 88 company operated and 32 franchise stores under contracts with SMK Speedy International Inc. or 984781 Alberta Ltd. a subsidiary of 578098 Alberta Ltd. Sphere: Related Content

Beatties Gets £56 Million in Sale Leaseback of Two UK Stores

icBirmingham - Mail - January 27, 2006

Beatties' Wolverhampton city centre store has been sold for £47 million, it was revealed today. The store, one of the best known sites in the city, has changed hands just days after owners House of Fraser announced 100 jobs were to go at the Darlington Street complex.

House of Fraser said today it had entered into a new 35-year sale and leaseback arrangement on the city centre store. The former Beatties empire, bought last June for £69.4 million by House of Fraser, has faced a turbulent ride with the new owners at the helm.

House of Fraser said today it was also selling and leasing back its store at Birkenhead, Merseyside. Proceeds from both the Wolverhampton and Birkenhead transactions will be used to reduce House of Fraser's debt. The retailer said the stores had been sold to "two separate parties" for a total of £56 million. (The initial yield achieved on the sale and leaseback transactions was less than 4.7% on an aggregated basis according to the Regulatory News Service.) Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Burlington Coat Factory to Pursue Sale Leaseback of Property Portfolio?

Burlington Coat Factory the Next Retail-for-Real-Estate Play - CoStar Group - January 26, 2006

Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp. (NYSE:BCF) accepted a buy-out offer from Boston-based private equity firm Bain Capital Partners LLC for $2.06 billion, or $45.50 per share in cash. Founded by the Milstein family, which swung its 62% ownership stake in favor of the Bain offer, the New Jersey-based Burlington Coat Factory started its 36-year run as an outlet chain offering designer coats at discount prices. Today, the retail chain has 367 stores in 42 states and sells a wide selection of apparel including shoes, baby furniture and home accessories.

Lately faced with stagnant share prices from a seemingly indifferent Wall Street and increasing competition from discounters, many big box retailers are turning to the ground underneath their stores to attract buyers and keep investors happy. Meanwhile, private equity buyers like Bain can tap the chain's highly valued real estate, either by selling off stores or using the real estate as collateral for borrowing funds needed to turnaround underperforming companies and hopefully sell them at a premium later. Bain has made private equity investments and add-on acquisitions in more than 230 companies, including Toys 'R Us, Burger King, Staples, Shopper's Drug Mart, Brookstone, Domino's Pizza, Sealy Corp., Sports Authority, Duane Reade and Dollarama.

"We are thrilled that a transaction with Bain Capital delivers significant value to our stockholders," said Monroe Milstein, Burlington Coat Factory's chairman, president and CEO. Sphere: Related Content

Teledyne Tech. Signes 125,000-SF Office Deal in El Segundo, CA

Teledyne Tech. Inks 125K-SF Office Deal in El Segundo - CoStar Group - January 25, 2006

Teledyne Technologies Inc. leased 125,000 square feet of office space at 501 Continental Blvd. in El Segundo, CA. It will occupy the entire building. The company will occupy the space in mid-2006. Teledyne Technologies designs and manufactures electronics, instrumentation, communication, and propulsion products, and provides advanced engineering services to a variety of customers around the world. Mark Sullivan of Studley represented Teledyne. Steve Solomon and Craig Meyer of Trammell Crow Co. represented the landlord, Alliance Commercial Partners LLC. Sphere: Related Content

S&P May Downgrade CVS Ratings on $1 Billion 700 Store Buy-Leaseback of Sav-on and Osco Drug Stores from Albertson's

Morningstar / MarketWatch Pulse - January 23, 2006

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Monday placed CVS Corp.'s (CVS) long-term ratings, including its A- long-term corporate credit rating, on creditwatch with negative implications. S&P also affirmed the A-2 short-term rating on the Woonsocket, R.I.-based retail pharmacy chain. The creditwatch action follows the retailer's agreement to acquire about 700 stores under the Sav-on and Osco banners from Albertson's Inc. (ABS) for $3.9 billion in cash, including property. CVS is planning on funding the transaction with short- and long-term debt, including an anticipated sale leaseback of $1 billion. "Although the proposed transaction would strengthen CVS's competitive position, the additional debt to fund the acquisition would weaken the company's financial profile," said S&P credit analyst Diane Shand in a statement. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

IBM HQ in Madrid Sold for $267 Million

Financial Times - January 23, 2006

Morgan Stanley, the US investment bank, has paid €220m (£151m, $267m) for IBM's Iberian headquarters in the biggest single office deal ever seen in Spain. It is understood that two of the group's funds, the Morgan Stanley Eurozone Office Fund and its new KAG German open-ended fund, have joined forces to buy the block building in Madrid's city centre. The seller was GIC, investment wing of Singapore's government and a leading global property investor. The deal was at a net initial yield of 5.5 per cent.

Three thousand IBM staff work at the 10-storey building, on Avenida de America, which was purpose-built for the company in 1989. It was bought by GIC in 2000 on a sale and leaseback basis. The block has more than 500,000 sq ft of space above ground and another 200,000-plus sq ft of underground car parking – with 1,000 spaces – and other facilities. IBM is halfway through a 10-year lease, on an inflation-linked index. However, it is understood that it is in negotiations with Morgan Stanley to add five years to the term.

The two funds were advised by Morgan Stanley and GIC was advised by CB Richard Ellis. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Golden Tulip Hotel in Melborne Developed Under 20 Year Leaseback

The Australian - January 24, 2006

The Tourism Hotels & Leisure group has announced plans for a $75 million, four-star hotel to be built on or near Melbourne Airport. The 279-room property is likely to become Melbourne's second Golden Tulip hotel and will be built by an undisclosed developer.

But confusion surrounds the actual site, with Melbourne Airport staff yesterday unaware of any plans for a hotel and a THL spokesman unable to confirm whether the planned complex would be on airport land. Either way, the hotel will be known as the Golden Tulip Melbourne Airport, and according to a THL stock exchange announcement, will include both conference and business facilities.

The proposed complex will be Golden Tulip's second Melbourne property and is expected to be leased back for up to 20 years. Sphere: Related Content

Hornbach Completes Euro 200 Million Sale Leaseback of Seven DIY Megastores in Germany and Switzerland

Hornbach Holding AG Web Site - January 20, 2006

Within the framework of its sale and lease back strategy, the HORNBACH Group has concluded agreements for the disposal and renting back of a portfolio of seven existing and planned DIY megastores with garden centers in Germany and Switzerland. Furthermore, a specialist retail center located in Germany has also been sold. The total value of the portfolio amounts to approximately EUR 200 million.

The Purchaser, Crawford Properties Ltd of Gibraltar, is a company controlled by the Israeli investor Igal Ahouvi. Mr Ahouvi has over the past 18 months expanded his real estate portfolio through large scale transactions in Germany and Europe.

In the past years, HORNBACH has already successfully executed several sale and lease back transactions with various open and closed real estate funds and institutional investors via markets in Germany and other European countries. These transactions enable HORNBACH to improve its liquidity, while simultaneously securing its locations in the long-term. Such disposals are undertaken in line with the strategy to hold approximately 50 per cent of all real estate required for operations in the group companies. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, January 23, 2006

American College Seeking Sale Leaseback on Part of Philadelphia Area Campus

Philadelphia Inquirer - January,23 2006

The American College in Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania is putting its 35-acre campus on the Main Line up for sale. It would sell the six-building Bryn Mawr campus, including the Gregg Conference Center, with 50 hotel rooms and dining and classroom space. It would lease back the Million Dollar Round Table Foundation Hall and, possibly, Mitchell Hall. It needs less space because virtually all courses are now taught using distance-learning technology and practices, spokesman Eric B. Gordon said.

"This is the type of property that becomes available once in a generation... . We're looking for a buyer with a 50- to 100-year time horizon who is willing to pay a premium price." said Peter Stevens, senior vice president for investment sales at CB Richard Ellis Inc., the real estate firm hired to handle the deal. Stevens would not discuss the hoped-for price.

The college offers master's degrees and certification programs in financial-services fields, and it is looking for a buyer who would be a good neighbor. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Safeco Agrees to $210 Million Sale & Short Term Leaseback of Office Campus Near Seattle

Puget Sound Business Journal - Jamuary 18, 2006

Microsoft is planning to buy Safeco's old space in Redmond. In a Jan. 13 SEC filing, Safeco Corp. (NASDAQ: SAFC) said it had reached a tentative agreement to sell its 40-acre Redmond campus to Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) for $209.5 million. Safeco expects to realize a pre-tax gain on the sale of approximately $29 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, Seattle-based Safeco's wholly owned subsidiary General America Corp. can end the deal at any time before April 13 should Safeco determine it won't proceed with a proposed, 260,000-square-foot expansion of its headquarters in Seattle's University District. Additionally, either party has the right to terminate the agreement if Safeco is unable to get construction permits for the proposed office project by Jan. 13, 2007.

The planned sale does not include Safeco's data center on the Redmond campus, which is located on 154th Place Northeast in Redmond.
After the sale closes, General America Corp. will lease a portion of the campus for up to three years to allow Safeco time to complete its headquarters expansion and relocate its approximately 1,350 Redmond employees to Seattle. The lease includes 549,180 square feet of office space and 70,649 square feet of warehouse space.

General America has agreed to lease a 218,496-square-foot office building on Safeco's Redmond campus to Microsoft beginning next month. The lease, which will terminate on completion of the sale, can be extended if the sale does not close. Microsoft has until mid-February to complete its due diligence inspection of the Safeco property, during which time it can decide on its own whether to proceed with the purchase. Sphere: Related Content

Capital & Regional Acquires €115 Million Retail Portfolio in Germany

Capital & Regional Web Site - January 20, 2006

Capital & Regional plc, the co-investing property asset manager, today announces further acquisitions in its joint venture in Germany.
A further six "big box" out of town retail properties have been acquired for €115 million producing a net initial yield of approximately 7% after non-recoverable costs. The properties have 87,100 sq m of lettable area and tenants include Real (Metro), Wal Mart, Toom (REWE), and Plaza (CoOp).

The acquisitions have increased the portfolio to a total of 14 properties with a total floor area of 156,000 sq m and a total investment of €226 million. The portfolio is being managed by the Hahn Group which has a 10% share in the joint venture. Sphere: Related Content

Legal & General Divisional HQ in UK Sold for £73 Million

Freeman News - January 17, 2006

A subsidiary of The British Land Co plc has sold its interest in Legal & General House, Kingswood, Surrey for approximately £73.6m.

The property is let in its entirety to Legal & General Assurance Society Ltd. for a 20 year term from August 2005 with 5 yearly rent reviews. It comprises a well located and impressive headquarters complex with circa. 259,000 sq. ft. of offices set in 43 acres and within 5 miles of Junction 8 of the M25.
The marketing of the investment produced considerable domestic and international interest and has been acquired from British Land by Kingswood Property Holdings, with funding from The Royal Bank of Scotland plc. The sale price, above book value, reflects an initial yield to the purchasers of 3.9%, rising to 5.62% in April 2008.

Colliers CRE and Smee Associates acted for the vendor, advised by Nabarro Nathanson. DTZ Debenhams Tie Leung represented the purchaser, with legal advice from Clifford Chance LLP. Carey Olsen advised on Jersey aspects of the transaction. Sphere: Related Content

British Land Plans 750 Million Supermarket Portfolio Refinancing

British Land Web Site - January 18, 2006

British Land Co PLC said it is proposing to refinance its existing superstore portfolio which is securitised through Werretown Supermarkets Securitisations PLC.

The proposed refinancing, which unlocks value for both British Land and existing bondholders, is expected to amount to 750 mln stg and includes 52 mln stg in new floating rate bonds.

The new financing is expected to have a weighted average interest rate of about 4.9 pct, the company said. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Benderson Sells Ground Leased to 22 Eckerd Drug Stores

Buffalo Business First - January 21, 2006

Inland Western New York Portfolio LLC, an affiliate of the Chicago-based Inland Real Estate Group of Cos. Inc., acquired 22 properties, mostly Eckerd pharmacies, from Benderson Development Co. It is a follow-up to a 2003 deal that also saw Benderson sell a number of Eckerd properties to Inland including four in the immediate Buffalo Niagara region.

The properties include Eckerd pharmacy real estate along Sheridan Drive and Transit Road in the Town of Amherst, Main Street in Buffalo, Union Road in Cheektowaga and Transit Road in the Town of Lancaster. Outside of the region, the deal includes real estate in such locations as Liverpool, Saratoga and Newburg, said Daryl Cater, Inland spokesman.

Under the terms of the deal, Inland acquired the real estate where the pharmacies sit but Eckerd retains ownership of the buildings Sphere: Related Content

Monday, January 16, 2006

Corporate and Government Sale Leasebacks Deals Surging in Europe

A special Property Report in the January 11, 2006 issue of The Wall Street Journal Europe reports that a number of sizable corporate and government property portfolios are up for grabs, particularly in Italy, Belgium and France.

Leading the way is Comit, the former pension fund of Banca Commerciale Italiana, which is part of Italian bank Intesa Group. First-round bids for a portfolio of Comit's real-estate assets are due by the end of this month. The portfolio is expected to include trophy offices in Milan, bank branches it will lease back, and a residential component. The portfolio is expected to fetch a price in the region of 700 million euros [$846 million]

Italy's government is disposing of real-estate assets to narrow its budget deficit. In December, the government set up a real-estate fund, Patrimonio 1, into which it has put real-estate assets such as a police barracks, with an estimated value of 800 million euros. The move is part of Italy's strategy announced in September to sell 3 billion euros of real estate by the end of 2007. Last month, the disposal program began, with the government selling a portfolio largely comprising offices in Rome and Milan, to Fintecna SpA -- a company controlled by the Ministry of Finance, and which has a role in managing real-estate assets -- for around 400 million euros. Another 600 million euros of real-estate is expected to be sold to Fintecna, probably this year, with another 1.5 billion euros of assets being sold to Patrimonio 1 or a new public fund of a similar nature to Patrimonio.

Italian corporations are getting in on the act. Telecom Italia SpA agreed last month to sell 900 properties, mainly offices, to a joint venture between Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds, part of U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley, and Pirelli Real Estate for 790 million euros. The deal is expected to close by June. Pirelli Real Estate is 51%-owned by Italian tire maker and broadband-solutions developer Pirelli & C. SpA.

Belgium saw a slew of real-estate sales last month, with state entities selling 20 properties, with an estimated value of 250 million euros, according to Maxime Xantippe, a partner at advisory firm CB Richard Ellis in Brussels. Belgium's federal government sold a 47,000-square-meter office in Brussels's city center for 37 million euros to real-estate company Cie. Immobiliere de Belgique SA.

Also in December, the Belgian government sold the 72,000-square-meter Court of Justice in Antwerp to Belgian-listed real-estate company Cofinimmo SA for a sum that wasn't disclosed. Real-estate experts say it is likely to have sold for around 180 million euros. Belgium will lease the court back from Cofinimmo for 36 years, with an option to continue leasing.

In France last year, the government fell short of its target of selling as much as 850 million euros of real-estate assets, disposing of just 600 million euros. This year, the government intends to dispose of another 600 million euros in real-estate assets. Sphere: Related Content

DBS Bank To Sell and Leaseback Hong Kong Office Building

Yahoo / Dow Jones - January 16, 2006

DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd., the Hong Kong arm of Singapore's DBS Group Holdings Ltd. (D05.SG), said it will auction the office building it now occupies in Hong Kong's Central district. DBS Bank plans to lease back the 23-story building for six years after the sale, the company said in a statement Sunday. DBS is the sole occupant of the building, which has a gross floor area of 90,703 square feet.

Bids for the building are due by Feb. 22 and the sale is expected to be completed in May, the bank said. DBS said the sale and leaseback arrangement is intended 'to enhance the efficiency of the bank's balance sheet and to re-deploy funds for further expansion in the growing Asia market.' DBS also recently sold its Shenton Way office building in Singapore to a group of funds managed by Goldman Sachs. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, January 13, 2006

Quiksilver Signs Long Term Lease for 683,000 SF Warehouse - January 13, 2006

Quiksilver, the Huntington Beach-based marketer of sports equipment and clothing, has signed a long-term lease for a new 683,000-sf distribution facility that is under construction here, according to Joe Miller of the Anaheim office of Voit Commercial Brokerage. Miller, who represented Quiksilver along with Voit's Rob Socci in the Anaheim Metro office, says this marks the first time that the Huntington Beach-based company has separated its warehouse and office operations.

The new Quiksilver warehouse is at 11310 Cantu Galleano Ranch Rd. and is a development of Atlanta-based Industrial Developments International, which was represented by Bill Heim and Michael Chavez of Lee & Associates. Miller tells that Quiksilver most likely will move into the new warehouse in April or May. The new building will primarily be used to distribute footwear.

Terms of the lease were not disclosed. Asking rates for comparable warehouse and distribution space run about 33 cents to 38 cents per sf per month, triple-net. The direct vacancy rate dipped below 3% in the fourth quarter of 2005, and the Inland Empire market finished the year with absorption of more than 23 million sf of space, up from about 20 million sf the previous year. Sphere: Related Content

DHL Signs 20-Year Lease for $181 Million Manhattan Service Center

Crain's New York - January 11, 2006

Delivery company DHL plans to spend $181 million to build its largest U.S. service center in Manhattan, a step to compete for the area's express shipping market. The $181 million includes construction, the lease and other capital expenditures.

The new 161,125-square-foot center at 500 Tenth Avenue and West 38th Street will handle pickup, delivery and sorting operations 24 hours a day during the workweek and until 6 p.m. on Saturday. DHL signed a 20-year lease to build the facility, which will consolidate two existing service centers and increase handling capacity by 50%, to 15,000 letter and parcel shipments per hour. Construction will start next month and the facility, which will initially operate with 400 employees, will be fully operational in May, the company said. Studley Inc. represented DHL in the deal.

Germany-based DHL competes with Federal Express, United Parcel Service and the U.S. Postal Service. All aim for more market share by offering better services and more options, like online tracking and shipping orders. Sphere: Related Content

HSBC Holdings PLC Signs Long Term Lease for New HQ Near Chicago

Chicago Sun Times - January 10, 2006

HSBC Holdings PLC said Monday it has picked the Lake County town Mettawa as the site for its new corporate headquarters. HSBC, which owns the Household Finance operation, said it will move to 28 acres along Interstate 94 starting in early 2008. The move will let the company consolidate about 2,400 workers now at four locations, the biggest of which is the current headquarters at 2700 Sanders Rd. in Prospect Heights. HSBC, which also operates the Beneficial brand, has about 6,100 employees in the Chicago area.

Spokeswoman Anita Black said HSBC signed a 13-year lease with a renewal option for the northwest corner of I-94 and Town Line Road. Itasca-based developer Hamilton Partners owns the empty site and plans a 440,000-square-foot building for HSBC. Black said the company is moving to put its work force together and because it needed modern space. Other company locations to be phased out after the move include two in Mount Prospect and one in Deerfield, she said.

With ample space available in a sluggish suburban leasing market, many developers wooed London-based HSBC. The company said it evaluated more than 50 locations in Lake and northern Cook counties. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Four Seasons Health Care Plans Portfolio Sale Leaseback in UK

The Sunday Times - January 08, 2006

The owner of one of Britain's largest nursing-home operators is preparing a £1 billion refinancing of its business. Allianz Capital, the private-equity group, has hired Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, the investment bank, to oversee the refinancing of Four Seasons Health Care, which it acquired for £775m less than two years ago.

The refinancing, which could be followed by an auction or flotation of Four Seasons’ operating business later this year, is likely to be based on an extensive sale and leaseback of the group’s property portfolio. Four Seasons runs 440 homes and a chain of psychiatric hospitals across Britain and employs more than 21,000 people.

Allianz’s plans have emerged amid a continuing flurry of activity in the care-homes sector. Last weekend, The Sunday Times revealed Blackstone, the private-equity group, is plotting a flotation of Southern Cross. Buyout groups are attracted to the sector because it offers stable cashflows, buoyed by demographic trends that mean a growing proportion of the population is relying on nursing care. But the big profits have come from the soaring value of the property estates. Allianz is one of the big beneficiaries of this trend and it stands to bank a big profit. However, a number of its homes are tied up in securitisation deals and it will have to pay a fee to extricate itself. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Crate & Barrel Completes $40 Million Sale Leaseback of Headquarters

Chicago Tribune - January 4, 2006

New York investor Lloyd Goldman has completed a $40 million sale/leaseback deal for the Northbrook headquarters of Crate & Barrel Inc., according to property records filed last month. Goldman is best known as the lead financial partner in plans to rebuild the World Trade Center site.

The housewares retailer had been seeking a long-term agreement for the 159,500-square-foot building at 1250 Techny Rd., with an initial annual rent of $2.4 million, not including taxes and operating expenses. The transaction allows Crate to free up capital, said a spokeswoman, who declined to comment on the financial terms but said the company signed a 20-year lease.

Chicago-based U.S. Equities Realty LLC and New York-based Sonnenblick-Goldman Co. represented Crate. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, January 02, 2006

Allstate Insurance Completes $59 Million Sale Leaseback of Three Office Buildings

Commercial Real Estate Direct - December 28, 2005

Capital Lease Funding has paid $59 million for a portfolio of three office properties totaling 377,500 square feet. The New York REIT purchased the properties from Allstate Insurance in a sale-leaseback transaction. Allstate, a Northbrook, Ill., insurance firm, placed the buildings on the sales block in September as part of a 1 million-sf portfolio offered through Colliers Bennett & Khanweiler Inc.

Under the terms of the agreement, Allstate will retain its current space in the buildings through December 2015 and is responsible for properties' operating costs. The total amount of space occupied by Allstate in the buildings is not known, but believed to be significant. All three properties are leased to multiple tenants.

The properties included in this sale are:

• 401 McCullough Drive, with 192,000 sf in Charlotte, N.C.;
• 1819 Electric Road, with 166,000 sf in Roanoke, Va., and
• 1721 Cochran Road, with 19,500 sf in Pittsburgh.

CapLease funded the purchase by placing $41.7 million in mortgage debt on the Charlotte and Roanoke properties. The financing package carries a fixed-rate of 5.68 percent and will mature in January 2016. It also includes a 36 month interest-only period. Sphere: Related Content

Ramirent Agrees to Sale Leaseback of 18 Rental Stores - December 28, 2005

Ramirent AB, the Swedish affiliate of Finnish based Ramirent plc, one of Europe's top five rental companies, has agreed a sale and leaseback deal on 18 of its Swedish locations.

The buyer is Kungsleden AB, a property company, which has agreed to pay a total price of SEK 186(£13.5) million. The book value of the real estate is SEK 110(£8) million, although non-recurring costs related to the deal are expected to total approximately SEK 25(£1.8) million. Giving Rami a gain of 51(£3.7) million SEK.

Ramirent will continue as the leaseholder on an operating lease basis for each of the properties. The duration of the lease agreements ranges from two to 10 years. The deal will be closed in January 2006. Sphere: Related Content

Tower Completes Sale Leaseback of Sydney HQ for $47.5 Million

December 19, 2005

In a move away from investing in direct property assets, financial services provider Tower Limited has sold its Milsons Point office building in North Sydney to Australand Holdings Limited for $47.5 million. The company will in future focus investment on a spread of property securities.

Tower has negotiated an eight year lease back term at the property, located at 80 Alfred Street in Milsons Point, directly opposite Milsons Point railway station. The company currently occupies over 60% of the total office area, which is 100% tenanted.

The building comprises three retail shops, four levels of basement car parking and 13 levels of office accommodation, incorporating 10,271 sqm of commercial space. It was completed in 1971 and was extensively refurbished in the mid nineties. Australand have acquired the asset on an initial yield of almost 8%, with potential for long term development. Sphere: Related Content HQ Near San Francisco Sells for $79 Million - December 21, 2005

Two adjacent class A office buildings here that are fully leased to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have changed hands for $79 million or $472.55 per sf, local real estate sources tell San Francisco-based private fund sponsor Shorenstein Properties LLC acquired the 167,000-sf package from Redwood City, CA-based Foster Enterprises.

The buildings are known by their addresses, 5000 and 7000 Marina Blvd. The
property includes 473 surface parking spaces and is located within Sierra Point,
a 102-acre master-planned commercial business park located adjacent to Highway
101 and surrounded on three sides by the San Francisco Bay.

The Wal-Mart lease runs through 2012. Wal-Mart keeps the headquarters for its online division in the buildings, but also subleases some of the space. Local industry sources tell that Wal-Mart leased the building at the top of the market, which would help explain the relatively high purchase price. One source says the rent may be enough for Shorenstein to get back the cash in the deal during Wal-Mart's term, but that Shorenstein may seek to negotiate a blend-and-extend deal with Wal-Mart and then re-trade it after a few years.

The larger of the two is 7000 Marina Boulevard, which is a five-story building completed in 1986. The building at 5000 Marina Blvd. is a three-story building that was completed in 2000. The older building was first built as the headquarters for a toy company and then later by Good Guys. Wal-Mart came along shortly after the newer building was completed. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Accor to Sell and Lease Back 80 Hotels Worldwide in 2006

Bloomberg - December 26, 2005

Accor SA, the world's fourth-largest hotel company, intends to sell and lease back 80 hotels next year as part a plan to raise cash to step up expansion in countries including Russia and China. The transactions will follow the divestment of 128 hotels in 2005 and mean the Paris-based hotelier is on track with its plan to raise a total of 400 million euros ($474 million) by tapping its real estate holdings, said a spokeswoman, who declined to be named, confirming a report in Le Figaro newspaper.

Accor, which plans to install Gilles Pelisson as chief executive next month, wants to accelerate growth by increasing the number of hotel rooms it runs by 20 percent to 550,000 by 2008. Reducing the capital tied up in real estate is key to funding the expansion, analysts have said.

"The entire hotel industry is selling property to fund growth," said Yves Marchal, head of the French unit of real estate consultant Jones Lang LaSalle, in an interview earlier this month. Accor shares have gained 42 percent this year, buoyed in part by its divestment plan. Accor had net debt of 2.2 billion euros at the end of last year, equivalent to about twice its operating profit.

The properties to be sold in 2006 are Novotel and Mercure units, Accor's mid-market brands. Sphere: Related Content

BVIC Group Signs 59 Million Euro Sale Leaseback of Retail Center in Greece

BVIC Group We Site - December 28, 2005

BVIC Group is pleased to announce that it has signed a EUR 59 million sale and leaseback agreement with Alpha Leasing. The 13-year sale and leaseback agreement covers 94% of the total lettable and common area, as well as 100% of the parking spaces at the leisure and retail development under construction at Delta Falirou. The contract refers to 13,369 sqm of leisure and retail space and 1,204 sqm of storage space, as well as 738 parking spaces. The total of the lettable space covered by the sale and leaseback agreement has already been leased by BVIC Group to Village Roadshow, and Media Markt, and all of the parking spaces have been leased to a parking station operator. We expect the remaining 6% of common and lettable area, to be let well before the centre opens in mid 2006. Sphere: Related Content

Wikinvest Wire