Sunday, February 26, 2006

Staples Signs Long Term Lease for 555,000 SF in Orlando

CoStar Group - February 23, 2006

Staples, Inc., the office products retailer, has signed a 10-year lease for a 555,000-square-foot warehouse distribution facility at 10701 Central Port Drive in Orlando, FL. The one-story, 555,000-square-foot industrial building was built in 1994 and is located in the SE Orange County Industrial submarket. David Murphy and Kevin Hoover of CB Richard Ellis represented the landlord, Equity Industrial LP IV. David Ginther of Fischer & Co. represented the tenant. Sphere: Related Content

Swiss Retailer Completes 8 Store Sale Leaseback

Globes Online - February 26, 2006

Fishman Holdings subsidiary Jerusalem Economic Corp. (TASE:ECJM) (JEC) is expanding its business in Central Europe. The company today announced the purchase of eight stores from a large Swiss retailer in a buy and lease-back deal. JEC bought properties with 6,751 sq.m. of space and 93 parking places for 17.8 million Swiss francs (NIS 64 million), and leased the properties back to the retail chain in 5-10 leases.

JEC said it was negotiating with a foreign bank for a non-recourse loan for 85% of the deal. Three months ago, JEC announced a similar deal, in which it bought 17 stores from a large Swiss retailer in a buy and lease-back deal for 47.8 million Swiss francs (NIS 174 million). Sphere: Related Content

American Financial REIT to Sell Five Net Leased Properties for $301 Million

American Financial Realty Trust Web Site - February 24, 2006

American Financial Realty Trust (NYSE:AFR), announced today that it has entered into an agreement of sale with Resnick Development Corp., a subsidiary of Jack Resnick & Sons, Inc., to sell five 100% occupied, net leased properties for a sale price of $301 million, before transactions and closing costs. The purchaser will reimburse the Company for approximately $16.0 million in loan defeasance and prepayment costs, which results in an implied cap rate on the sale of approximately 6.70%.

The properties to be sold by the Company, which aggregate approximately 1.16 million square feet of rentable area, include 215 Fremont Street, San Francisco, California, an approximately 373,000 square foot office building that is leased to Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., Condominium Unit # 1 at 123 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, an approximately 256,000 square foot commercial condominium unit that is leased to Wachovia Bank, National Association, and three operations centers located in Meridian, Idaho, Louisville, Kentucky and McLeansville, North Carolina, aggregating approximately 530,000 square feet, that are leased to Citicorp North America, Inc.

The sale price is approximately $260 per square foot and will result in a GAAP gain to the Company of approximately $42.5 million, net of estimated closing costs. The transaction is expected to close early in the second quarter 2006. The Company will retain the property management on the 123 South Broad condominium unit and be granted rights of first offer to reacquire all of the properties. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, February 24, 2006

Duke University Places $11 Million Credit Tenant Loan on Research Facility

Private Placement Letter reports that Durham, N.C.-based Duke University has priced an $11 million credit tenant lease deal in the private market last week, sources said. William Blair acted as the sole agent for the transaction. Sources said the deal was backed by a research building and was structured as a single 16-year final/ 11-year average life maturity and was priced at 73 basis points over Treasurys. Duke University is viewed as a NAIC-1 credit. Sphere: Related Content

ICI's London Headquarters sold for £60.8 Million

Estates Gazette reports that Standard Life Investments has confirmed its acquisition of 20 Manchester Square, London, W1 for £60.8m from Close Brothers Investment on behalf of its Long Lease Fund. The deal is for the long leasehold interest from the Portman Estate until 29 July 2134 and represents a net initial yield of 4.42%.

The 70,074 sq ft office building, formerly EMI's headquarters, was developed by Delancey and completed in 2001. It is let in its entirety to ICI on a 20-year lease from 2001, at an annual rent of £3.5 million. ICI occupies the building as its global headquarters. Sphere: Related Content

Marks & Spencer Considering REIT to House £4 Billion Store Portfolio

The Times - February 23, 2006

The value of Marks & Spencer would soar to 580p a share if the retailer injected its estimated £4 billion property portfolio into a tax efficient real estate investment trust (Reit).

The prediction by Morgan Stanley Equity Research analysts would lift the fair value of M&S to 45 per cent more than the 400p hostile bid made by Philip Green in June 2004 and 15 per cent above the current M&S share price. The Treasury intends to introduce Reits in the UK next January, but details of the legislation are still being finalised. The current proposals insist that the ratio of taxable profits to interest must be more than 2.5 to 1 and that no shareholder is allowed to own more than 10 per cent of the Reit.

Morgan Stanley said it estimated that Marks & Spencer’s property had a market value of £4 billion, rising to £4.2 billion by the end of this year. Turning its estate into a Reit would make more transparent the market value of its assets and free up cash for M&S to invest in its core retail business or distribute to shareholders, according to Morgan Stanley.

That would enable investors to value M&S as a retail business and allow management to focus purely on the core retail operations. It would also give M&S shareholders a chance to buy shares in a newly created property company and receive dividends from a tax-free profit.

The 580p target price — 30p above Morgan Stanley’s current target — assumes M&S splits into an operating company worth 440p a share and a property company worth 140p a share. To reach a fair value of 440p a share for the M&S operating company, Morgan Stanley assumes that the property is sold and leased back to M&S at a price reflecting a 5.6 per cent rental yield, in line with a sale and leaseback by Debenhams. The cash would repay debt.

The property company valuation is based on a 20 per cent rise in the £3.3 billion valuation of M&S’s property since July 2004 and a further rise to £4.2 billion by the end of 2006. If M&S paid a conversion tax of 15 per cent on capital gains tax liabilities, the new property company would have an asset value of £3.9 billion. After £1.5 billion of debt, the property company’s equity value would be £2.5 billion or 140p a share.

Few big retailers still own extensive portfolios of property. Sphere: Related Content

AON May Build New UK HQ at Canary Wharf in London

The Sunday Times - February 23, 2006

AON, the insurance broker, is in talks to relocate its British headquarters to Canary Wharf in London's Docklands. The company said yesterday that it was considering leasing 255,000 sq ft of office space on the estate, in what would be one of the biggest new headquarter lettings at Canary Wharf for three years. It would also be the first time that a major insurance company has taken a large amount of space at the East London location.

The Docklands developer has been trying to diversify its tenant line-up to include other types of companies in the area, which is popular with large investment banks and law firms, including Credit Suisse, Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and Clifford Chance. Property sources said yesterday that Aon was still finalising the deal, but it is expected to lease a new building at 10 Churchill Place for at least 20 years at a rent approaching £40 per sq ft.

The company would relocate from its present site at Devonshire Square in the City of London. The group, which is being advised by CB Richard Ellis, has been looking for a new London site for more than two years. The company employs about 2,000 staff in London. Aon provides risk management services, insurance, reinsurance brokerage, management consulting and speciality insurance underwriting. Sphere: Related Content

Sainsbury to Issue £2.07 Billion in CMBS Backed by 127 Supermarkets

Freeman News - February 24, 2006

J Sainsbury plc, Britain's third biggest supermarket group, is to issue £2.07bn of commercial mortgage-backed securities to cut financing costs and slash its ££582m pension deficit. Sainsbury is to plough £350m into its pension schemes over the next three months. Sainsbury will use the balance of the proceeds to buy back up to £1.7bn in outstanding debt.

It said the CMBS will enable it to cut interest payments by £12m a year from next year. The debt will be secured indirectly against 127 of its supermarkets with a value of £3.55bn, approximately half the net book value of its estate
Sainsbury will incur a pre-tax charge of £37m this year, partly to pay for the early redemption of the existing unsecured bonds, rated BBB- and Baa3 respectively by Standard & Poors and Moody's.

(see Moody's Investors Service presale reports at the links below)

Longstone Finance plc

Eddystone Finance plc Sphere: Related Content

Little Chef Completes £60.3 Million Sale Leaseback of 65 UK Sites

CatererSearch Web Site - February 24, 2006

Little Chef has sold 65 sites to an Israeli property investor in a £60.3m sale-and-leaseback deal. Arazim Investment, a £100m company listed on the Tel Aviv stock exchange, completed the purchase earlier this week. The deal included a 56-bedroom hotel operated by Little Chef at Pontefract on the A1 in West Yorkshire. None of the properties are co-located on Travelodge sites and are spread as far apart as Scotland and the South-west of England.

Little Chef owner Lawrence Wosskow said: "The money will enable us to continue the roll-out of our new Coffee Tempo cafe brand and modernise existing Little Chef sites." The sites, nine of which have a Burger King franchise, were chosen because they were freehold or long-lease deals. The leaseback deals are for 35 years. The deal was handled by Coffer Corporate Leisure, the newly-founded leisure mergers and acquisitions vehicle of Davis Coffer Lyons. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, February 20, 2006

Vacancy Rate in Calgary Canada Drops to 1.9%

Calgary Herald - February 20, 2006

The hunt for downtown office space is so intense these days that buildings still under construction and not available for occupancy for more than a year have been pre-leased. It's a sign of the times in Calgary as the downtown office vacancy rate has hit a historic low. According to a February office space report by Barclay Street Real Estate Ltd., the overall vacancy rate is at 1.9 per cent.

'The properties that are being delivered in 2007 consisting of four major new office developments in downtown Calgary are approximately 70 per cent pre-leased at this point in time,' said Mark St. Pierre, senior vice-president and principal of Barclay Street Real Estate. 'We anticipate that those buildings will be 90 to 100 per cent pre-leased before the end of this calendar year with still six months following for delivery. The average lease rate for AA office space is currently about $35 a square foot.

Downtown Calgary has about 33 million square feet of office space. In the top quality AA class, the actual vacancy rate is 0.9 per cent, according to Barclay Street Real Estate, with only just over 50,000 square feet of vacant area in an overall inventory of just over five million square feet. "With under two per cent vacancy in the downtown core, Calgary's vacancy is second in the world only to Tokyo at 1.2 per cent," states the report. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Kesko Agrees to EUR 200 Million Sale Leaseback of 77 Stores in Finland

Kesko Web Site - February 16, 2004

Kesko has today agreed to sell 77 retail properties in various parts of Finland to Niam Retail Holding Finland AB. The sale price is over EUR 200 million. Kesko Group's gain on the disposal is EUR 99.8 million.

In addition to real estate owned by Kesko Group, 15 real estate properties owned by the Kesko Pension Fund have also been sold at the same time. All the above premises have been leased back for the use of Kesko's division parent companies under 5-year or 10-year lease agreements with extension options.

Kesko Group's lease liabilities, covering all properties now leased and totalling approximately EUR 144 million, are not classified as finance leases. Lease liabilities concerning the real estate sold by Kesko Group amount to EUR 118 million.

Out of the 77 real estate properties covered by the deal, 57 are used by K-food store chains, 14 by the K-rauta and Rautia chains, four by the K-maatalous chain and two by the chain of Anttila department stores. The concluded deal will cause no changes in store operations. The total area of the real estate sold by Kesko Group is approximately 160,000 sq.m.

The sale of real estate aims at enhancing the use of Kesko Group's capital. The assets obtained from the sale will be used to strengthen the store network in Finland and other countries, to expand the Group's international business operations and for rearrangements of long-term finance. Closing of the transaction is is expected to occur in early March. Sphere: Related Content

Boise Cascade to Sell and Leaseback HQ Office Building

The Idaho Statesman - February 18, 2006

Boise Cascade Co. said Friday it will sell its five-story 300,000-square foot headquarters at 1111 West Jefferson to local developer Rafanelli & Nahas and then lease back up to three floors to house its 540 Boise area employees. Terms of the Boise Cascade deal were not revealed Friday.

But area real estate experts said Boise Cascade stands to get a good price for its headquarters, thanks to a recent runup in Treasure Valley real estate values. Ada County Assessor Bob McQuade said the building and the land it sits on was assessed at $19.8 million in 2005.

News of the sale was not unexpected. Boise Cascade announced last year that it was exploring various options for its headquarters, including a sale. Industry observers say an increasing number of U.S. companies are choosing to rent rather than own in order to cash in on the increased value of their property. The deal is expected to close March 9.

Boise Cascade's exit from the real estate business means it will be able to concentrate on its core businesses of wood products and paper manufacturing, said a company official. "We wanted to concentrate on those businesses, and not worry about managing real estate," said Boise Cascade spokesman Mike Moser. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, February 17, 2006

Toys R Us Commences $868 Million Sale Leaseback of 60 Stores in Europe

SEC Edgar Web Site - February 15, 2006

Toys Limited and Toys "R" Us Properties Limited, an indirect subsidiary of Toys "R" Us, Inc., will sell to Toys Properties by way of an inter-company transfer 29 stores and one distribution center having an aggregate market value of £493.2 million (U.S.$868.0 million) and lease those properties back pursuant to operating leases. The acquisition is being financed through commercial mortgage backed floating rate notes of £355.8 million (U.S.$626.2 million.) The company will also sell and leaseback 22 properties located in Spain and nine in France under simmilar arrangements.

The proceeds from the transaction, together with other available funds, were used to repay all of the outstanding indebtedness under the bridge facility component of the acquisition facilities with, among others, Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch, Barclays Bank PLC and The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, and to pay part of the transaction costs related to the various transactions. Following the closing of the U.K. transaction, there remained no outstanding balance under the bridge facility. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Quantum Converts $54.2 Million Synthetic Lease to Sale Leaseback

SEC Edgar Web Site - February 10, 2006

On February 6, 2006, Quantum Corporation terminated its existing synthetic lease agreement with SELCO Service Corporation for its Pikes Peak Corporate Center, located at 10125, 10205 and 10285 Federal Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado and arranged for a sale of the Colorado Facility to CS/Federal Drive LLC, (Cushman & Wakefield Net Lease Trust, Inc.) and restructured its interest in the facility as a triple net operating lease.

Under the terms of the transaction documents, the Colorado Facility was sold to CS for a total sales price of approximately $54.25 million, of which the Company received approximately $2.6 million, with the remainder paid to SELCO in consideration of its synthetic leasehold interest in the property and covering costs associated with the transaction. In connection with the sale, the Company leased the three buildings located at the Colorado Facility from CS pursuant to three triple net leases with terms of 5, 7 and 15 years. The leases require the Company to pay initial base annual rent of $5,940,966.00 (10.95% cap rate) with annual increases of 2.0% and greater during the first five years of the lease. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Woolworths Seeking $860 Million Sale Leaseback of 11 Distribution Centers in Australia - February 10, 2006

A rush of bids are expected today for the $860 million Woolworths industrial portfolio of distribution centres. Record low yields are expected as a condition of sale specifies that the winning bidder will be the one who offers the lowest rent, not the highest purchase price.

Yields for prime industrial assets in the best performing markets in Australia range from 7% to 7.25%, but the Woolworths sale is expected to establish a new benchmark in the 6% range. Woolworths will leaseback the 11 properties for 15 years. However only 6 properties have freehold titles. One of the distribution centres in the sale include the new Barnawartha site located at Logic. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, February 10, 2006

Restaurant Chains Being Presured by Investors to Monetize Property Portfolios

New York Times - February 10, 2006

Hedge fund activists have redirected their recent interest in fast food to casual dining and are focusing beyond high margins in the kitchen to finding value in the land beneath it.

This week, Pirate Capital, an aptly named $1.5 billion activist fund, indicated in a regulatory filing that it had paid $58.8 million for a 7 percent stake in CKE Restaurants, parent of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, among other holdings.

Late last month, Michael Woodhouse, the chairman and chief executive of Cracker Barrel, said his company had hired Wachovia to explore ways to enhance shareholder value. This came after Cracker Barrel was approached by an unnamed shareholder who wanted changes. That shareholder is Nelson Peltz, who runs Trian Partners, a new private investment fund, say people briefed on Mr. Peltz's investment. A spokeswoman for Mr. Peltz declined to comment.

These restaurant franchises, slightly more sophisticated than fast-food chains, have something in common with their bigger brethren other than some menu items: the restaurants in both types of chains own a lot of real estate. The hedge fund investors believe that real estate has value that, once unlocked, could go to the company's owners — the activists — in the form of share buybacks.

Here's how the activists want to unlock real estate value: sell the real estate under the stores and lease it back, using the proceeds to buy back stock. If such a move would incur a large tax bill — which it would if the real estate was cheap — the restaurant companies could create a real estate holding company and borrow, heavily, against it.

Cracker Barrel and CKE Restaurants will not be alone: other targets are expected to include Outback Steakhouse, Bob Evans and Brinker International, say managers who do not want to be identified because they are buying shares. Sphere: Related Content

Goody's Completes Sale Leaseback of HQ & Distribution Centers

Commercial Property News - February 10, 2006

The two investment firms that purchased Goody's Family Clothing Inc. for $327 million last month have carried out a sale-leaseback of three Goody's buildings to help fund the equity portion of the acquisition. The proceeds of the sale and leaseback were not disclosed.

Under the terms of the sale and leaseback, the investment firms--Prentice Capital Management L.F. and Affiliates and GMM Capital L.L.C.--sold the buildings to STAG Capital Partners, and then leased it back.

According to industry observers contacted today by CPN, investment firms that acquire companies often sell and leaseback property and then use the proceeds to reduce the amount of equity that the investment firm would otherwise have to supply to the transaction. The technique can significantly increase return on the deal.

The property includes Goody's corporate headquarters building and main distribution center in Knoxville, Tenn., and a second distribution center in Russellville, Ark. The three buildings encompass approximately 750,000 square feet. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Kmart Distribution Center Sells for $53 Million

CoStar Group - February 8, 2006

JP Morgan purchased the Kmart distribution center at 1475 Nitterhouse Drive in Chambersburg, PA, from Nitterhouse LLP for $53.2 million, or about $61.50 per square foot. Built in 2001, the distribution center is a single story, 862,450-square-foot warehouse with a 30-foot clear height and 59 loading docks. The building is fully leased to Kmart through August 2016 on a triple net lease. Cushman & Wakefield's James P. Vessey, James Sheehan, Jerome Kranzel, Stephan Cooper and Jeffrey Williams represented both parties. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

German Retailer Sinn Leffers Completes Sale Leaseback of Property Portfolio

Hypo Real Estate Group Web Site - February 7, 2006

Hypo Real Estate Bank AG (Munich) and Hypo Real Estate Bank International (Stuttgart) are pleased to announce that the Group has provided a € 172 million acquisition financing to European Property Investors, L.P., a value-added corporate outsourcing fund managed by Curzon Global Partners. The financing has been provided in connection with the acquisition of a portfolio of properties for a sale and leaseback transaction with Sinn Leffers in Germany. The transaction closed on 23rd December 2005.

The portfolio consists of sixteen city centre retail assets (predominantly in the North Rhine/Westphalia region) together with a headquarters office and distribution centre totalling in all circa 130,000 sq metres. All properties are
newly let to the tenant company on long leases. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, February 06, 2006

Apple Computer Leases 116,830 SF Building in Cupertino, CA

CoStar Group - February 3, 2006

Apple Computer signed a deal for the entire 116,830-square-foot building at 10400-10450 Ridgeview Court in Cupertino. About 56,315 square feet was a direct deal with the landlord and the remaining 60,515 square feet was a sublease from IBM. Gregg von Thaden of Colliers International in San Jose represented Apple in both leases. Frank Friedrich, Don Lonsinger and Doug Beck of CB Richard Ellis in San Jose and Randall Brown of CB Richard Ellis of Los Angeles represented IBM. Brad Martin and Rich Hardy of Cushman & Wakefield of San Jose represented the landlord, Grosvenor International Ltd. Sphere: Related Content

Retailer Casual Male Closes Sale Leaseback of HQ Complex Near Boston

Casual Male Retail Group Web Site - February 3, 2006

On January 30, 2006, Casual Male Retail Group, Inc., the nations largest retailer of big and tall men's apparel, entered into a sale-leaseback transaction with Spirit Finance Corporation for its headquarters and primary distribution center property for $57.0 million. The property consists of a 725,835 gross square foot building located on approximately 27.3 acres in Canton, MA. The transaction funded and closed on February 1, 2006.

The Company agreed to lease the property back for an annual rent of $4.56 million, payable monthly and in advance. The initial period of the Lease Agreement is for 20 years with optionas to extend for six additional successive periods of five years. In addition, on February 1, 2011, the fifth anniversary of the Lease Agreement, and for every fifth anniversary thereafter, the base rent will increase not to exceed the lesser of 7% or a percentage based on changes in the Consumer Price Index. Sphere: Related Content

ING Agrees to $31 Million Sale Leaseback of Office Complex In Quebec

Whiterock REIT Web Site - February 3, 2006

Whiterock Real Estate Investment Trust has entered into a long term sale-leaseback agreement with ING Insurance Company of Canada covering a three-building, 230,000 square foot office complex, in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec for approximately $31 million. The lease has a term of 20 years with four, five-year extensions, and is triple net including all structural repairs and maintenance expenses.

"Whiterock is very pleased to enter into a long-term transaction with ING, the largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada with an A+ credit rating by Standard & Poor's."

The office complex is located at 2450 rue Girouard Ouest, and 450 rue St-Joseph and will be leased back in its totality to ING until 2026. 2450 rue Girouard Ouest consists of two buildings connected by an elevated walkway, of which one building totaling 115,000 square feet was newly constructed in 2005, and the second building totaling 85,000 square feet is currently undergoing significant renovations by the tenant. The third building, totaling approximately 30,000 square feet was significantly upgraded in 1990, and again in 2005. The properties also contain approximately 560 surface parking stalls, all of which are utilized by ING.

Whiterock intends to finance the going-in 7.5% cap rate acquisition with 20 year fixed rate debt for approximately 75% of the purchase price. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Minka Lighting Signs 533,000-SF Industrial Prelease

CoStar Group - February 1, 2006

Minka Lighting signed a long-term lease, estimated at 10 years, for a 532,926-square-foot industrial building at 23700 Cactus Ave. in Moreno Valley, CA. Construction for the building is planned to begin this month with completion set for September. It will be located in the master-planned Centerpointe Business Park. The newly built industrial building will feature 98 loading docks, four ground-level doors and a 32-foot clear height. Jeff Ruscigno and Joseph McKay of Lee & Associates represented the landlord, Ridge Properties. Louis Tomaselli and Mitch Zehner of Voit Commercial Brokerage represented the tenant. Sphere: Related Content

CSFB Considering Sale Leaseback of London Buildings?

Estates Gazette reports that CB Richard Ellis has been appointed to advise Credit Suisse First Boston on the bank's property strategy. CSFB may consider a £500m-plus sale and leaseback of the 540,000 sq ft 1 Cabot Square and the 167,000 sq ft 20 Columbus Courtyard in London. Recent Canary Wharf sales have achieved an average yield of around 5.6%. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, February 04, 2006

UK Retailer B&Q Planning Sale Leasebacks on £1.1 Billion UK Store Portfolio

Property Week reports that B&Q is planning sale and leasebacks on parts of its £1.1bn UK portfolio in an effort to advance its turnaround strategy and raise cash. The company reportedly completed its first sale and leaseback before Christmas when Standard Life Investments paid £61 million for two warehouses in Birmingham and Doncaster. The sale and leaseback, through subsidiary B&Q Properties, was reportedly completed in four and half days after a private investor pulled out of the deal before Christmas.

Terry Hartwell, property director at B&Q's parent company Kingfisher Group, was reported as saying that the company would likely pursue further sale leaseback transactions in 2006. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Le Nature Facility in Phoenix With 20 Year Lease Sells for $88.5 Million

CB Richard Ellis Web Site - January 30, 2006

First Industrial Realty Trust has sold the 500,000-square-foot 615 North 48th Street in Phoenix, AZ to CBRE Investors. Situated on 30.12 acres of land, the building was a build-to-suit for and is fully leased on a 25-year triple net lease by Le*Nature’s, Inc. Sale price was in excess of $88.5 million.

Le*Nature’s, Inc. produces and markets all natural, fully pasteurized, noncarbonated alternative everages in re-closable plastic bottles. It is also widely recognized as having one of America’s most advanced beverage manufacturing facilities.

The R&D, manufacturing and distribution facility in Phoenix was a build-to-suit constructed by First Industrial Realty Trust for Le*Nature’s, Inc. The state-of-the-art facility includes 70,525 square feet of office space situated throughout the three floors, sky lights throughout the warehouse area, 378 parking stalls, 30 foot clear ceiling height and a 75-foot mounted freeway sign with color video screen totaling approximately 400 square feet in size. Sphere: Related Content

City of Hamburg Germany Completes EUR 815.5 Million Sale Leaseback of 39 Properties

HSH N Real Estate - January 31, 2006

The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg has sold a portfolio of office and commercial space comprising 39 properties to Captiva Capital Partners II S.C.A. real estate fund. The real estate sold forms part of a portfolio comprising a total of approx. 180 properties. The transaction volume amounts to €815.5 million. This sale, which was transacted in the form of an asset deal on behalf of the public sector, thus ranks among the largest transactions of this kind ever to be carried out in Germany.

The consulting syndicate consisting of Ernst & Young Real Estate GmbH, HSH N Real Estate AG and Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. KGaA was responsible for all aspects of preparing and carrying out the selling process. The legal consulting and contractual arrangements were performed by law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which has a particular focus on providing advice on large-scale real estate portfolio transactions. Over the coming months, FHH will put another package of properties up for sale with the support of the consulting syndicate.

The 39 properties were purchased by Captiva Capital Partners II S.C.A. real estate fund, which is managed by IXIS Capital Partners Limited. IXIS forms part of Caisse Nationale des Caisses d'Epargne, which is France's third-largest network of banks. The Captiva real estate fund was involved in several large-scale real estate transactions in the past, such as logistics real estate of KarstadtQuelle AG, France Telecom real estate and office properties owned by Barmer Ersatzkasse.

The deal with the purchaser will be closed subject to the consent of the Senate and Parliament of FHH. On the part of FHH, the process will be handled by Hamburger Gesellschaft for Vermogens- und Beteiligungs-verwaltung mbH (HGV), a subsidiary of FHH. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

AIB Seeking €360 Million Sale Leaseback of Ballsbridge HQ

Irish Independent - January 31 06

AIB is shortly expected to put its Ballsbridge head office on the market at an estimated price tag of €360m. The bank declined to confirm the move yesterday - a spokeswoman saying it had "no comment" to make. The Bankcentre complex comprises a number of different blocks opposite the Royal Dublin Society. The group plans to lease the buildings back from the new owner/owners on a long-term arrangement.

This is a carbon copy of the transaction used by the group to fund the extension of its headquarters complex, a deal that was completed this time last year. Three interlinked blocks, varying in height from five to seven storeys over basement and with 535 car parking spaces, are currently being constructed behind the existing offices. The deals are roughly equal in valuation terms, according to property sources, and each represents by far the largest property transactions in the Irish market.

A year ago, the bank entered into exclusive negotiations to fund its landmark extension in Ballsbridge with the Serpentine Consortium, a syndicate of private investors assembled by AIB Private Banking and Goodbody Stockbrokers, which is also owned by AIB. The price agreed with the syndicate has not been disclosed but property specialists put a €360m price tag on the transaction at the time.

The Serpentine Consortium was named preferred bidder after an open tender process handled by Jones Lang La Salle, the estate agent which is understood to be handling the new sale and leaseback. A spokesman for Jones Lang La Salle said he had no comment to make when asked yesterday.

Some disappointed bidders were critical of the tender process, noting that the successful bidders were clients of the bank. Deloitte Ireland claimed after the event that its bid of €380m, made on behalf of an unnamed UK property fund, had been rejected by the bank, even though it represented a premium of circa €20m over the successful Serpentine offer.

In all, it is reckoned eight investment groups were shortlisted for that sales and leaseback development and that, between them, they represented some €2bn of private Irish money. It is understood that consortium members participating in that transaction were asked to put up €120m in equity, with AIB lending the balance of the investment to the investors.

The funding aspect is what arguably attracted other banks to put in tenders the last time around, and it is expected the same names will be back in the hat this time around. Sphere: Related Content

Wikinvest Wire