Tuesday, March 28, 2006

DHL Mail Facility in Allentown Sells for $63 Million

Real estate brokerage firm Grubb & Ellis reports that United Bank of Switzerland has purchased a 292,333 square foot DHL mail sorting facility on 72 acres in Upper Macungie Township from developer Opus East. The sale price of $63.1 million or $217 per square foot was thought to be a record price for an industrial building transaction in the Lehigh Valley.

The property at 910 Nestle Way was designed and built by Opus East for the logistics company owned by Germany's Deutsche Post. The shell building was completed in December as part of a 20-year lease that called for DHL to install more than $72 million in advanced letter- and package-sorting systems. That would create a $107 million facility capable of processing correspondence and packages destined for the Washington, D.C., to Boston corridor.

Opus East began construction of the building in early June 2005 and by mid-September had transferred control of the interior to DHL. The building has nearly 300,000 square feet of floor area and 12,000 square feet of office space and 178 tailgate loading doors. Sphere: Related Content

Spectrum Brands Signs Million-Plus SF Lease Near St. Louis

Commercial Property News - March 28, 2006

Spectrum Brands, a major manufacturer of lawn and household insect-control and insect-repellent products, has signed a lease to occupy the entire Lakeview Commerce Center I, a brand-new distribution facility in Edwardsville, Ill., across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Initially, the company will occupy 605,000 square feet, but the lease agreement calls for the building to be expanded to between 1 million to 1.2 million square feet by 2008.

The deal is the latest in this submarket of St. Louis, located at the junction of the north-south I-55 and the east-west I-70. Among other companies, Hershey's, Unilever and Proctor & Gamble have located major distribution facilities in the area, which has seen roughly 9 million square feet of industrial space developed in the last four years. Currently, about 2 million square feet are under way in the submarket.

David Zeigler, managing principal at Lee & Associates' St. Louis office, represented landlord Panattoni Development. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, March 27, 2006

Sony Europe Completes EUR121 Million Sale and Leaseback of Eight Properties Across Europe

PRNewswire - March 27, 2006

Sony Europe and Macquarie Global Property Advisors (MGPA) have completed an agreement for the sale and leaseback of eight office and logistics properties currently owned by Sony for EUR121.1 million. The portfolio spans six European countries - the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany - and includes some of Sony's significant buildings in each of these markets. Sony will remain the major tenant of the portfolio, leasing back 65% of the property from MGPA. The properties have been acquired on behalf of MGPA's European property fund, MGP Europe Fund II. Sphere: Related Content

KarstadtQuelle Completes Eur 4.5 Billion Sale Leaseback of 174 Properties

Reuters - March 27, 2006

KarstadtQuelle (KARG.DE), Europe's second largest mail order company and Germany's biggest department store operator, said on Monday it had sold its property portfolio for 4.5 billion euros ($5.4 billion), more than three times its book value, allowing it to become debt free and to focus on growing sales. Karstadt, which narrowly escaped bankruptcy in late 2004, said it had sold the properties to a joint venture, owned 49 percent by itself and 51 percent by Whitehall, a Goldman Sachs property fund.

"The deal is not very transparent," said one analyst, who asked not to be named. Others said the same. Karstadt, which narrowly escaped bankruptcy in 2004, had said it wanted to sell the portfolio by the third quarter. Chief Executive Thomas Middelhoff told Reuters that its advisor Rothschild had said the deal was fair. "The advantages of a quick deal were higher than the disadvantages," Middelhoff told Reuters in an interview.

The Essen-based retailer said its net debt stood at 3 billion euros ($3.6 billion) at the end of 2005. The figure includes the debt of Thomas Cook, Europe's second biggest tourism firm, of which Karstadt owns 50 percent.

Under the deal Karstadt gets 3.7 billion euros immediately in exchange for the property portfolio, which includes 174 properties, including department stores, parking lots and office buildings and has a book value of 1.3 billion euros. The company said Karstadt will continue to pay rent on the real estate, which will then be sold on by Whitehall to other interested parties over the next three to five years at which time the joint venture will come to an end.

The remaining 800 million euros of the sale price are expected to come from the appreciation in value of these properties over the time that Whitehall takes to sell them, Karstadt said, adding that it planned to sell on its own remaining real estate worth 600 million euros in the coming months. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, March 25, 2006

RVI to Pay $33 Million for Soon to be Vacant Property That it Insures

SEC Edgar Web Site - March 14, 2006

On March 14, 2006, The Newkirk Master Limited Partnership, the operating partnership of Newkirk Realty Trust, Inc., entered into an agreement to sell its Toledo, Ohio property currently leased to Owens-Illinois for a purchase price of $33,000,000, $1,000,000 in cash plus assumption of the $32,000,000 of outstanding debt encumbering the property at September 29, 2006, the closing date. The purchaser, RVI Group, is the residual value insurer with respect to the property. As previously disclosed, Owens-Illinois has advised the Operating Partnership that it will be vacating the property at the expiration of its lease term, September 30, 2006. Sphere: Related Content

Malaysia's Tiong Nam Logistics to Issue Property Backed Bonds

Yahoo Finance - March 22, 2006

Tiong Nam Logistics Bhd. (8397.KU) is looking to raise around MYR150 million ($40.6 million) through the issue of MYR269.41 million in discounted asset-backed Islamic securities in the second quarter of the year. The Malaysian haulage firm wants to raise the funds to reduce debt and for working capital.

Five units of Tiong Nam sold assets including warehouses and offices to a special purpose vehicle called ABS Logistics Bhd. for MYR191.6 million. The units also agreed to lease back the assets for up to 10 years. ABS Logistics will sell five classes of discounted Islamic securities using the Ijarah - or leaseback principle. The Class A paper will be for around MYR100 million, the Class B for around MYR20 million, the Class C at MYR40 million, the Class D at MYR44.5 million and the Class E for around MYR64.91 million. The vehicle will fund the purchase of the assets with MYR147 million in cash and the proceeds from the MYR44.5 million mezzanine notes.

As part of the structure, Tiong Nam will have the option to buy back the assets at their fair market value 12 months prior to the expiry of the lease. If it elects not to exercise the option, ABS Logistics Bhd. has the right to sell the assets to other buyers. The offering is subject to approval by the Securities Commission and Tiong Nam shareholders. Sphere: Related Content

British Land Sells B&Q DIY Store at Record Yield

icTeesside - March 22, 2006

British Land has sold a Teesside property for £29.2m in one of the North-East's biggest retail warehouse deals in recent years. The 122,000sq ft property, which is minutes from British Land's 340,000sq ft Teesside Retail Park between Stockton and Middlesbrough, was placed on the market in December with a guide price of £27.1m.

It is believed to have been sold to a London company which invests in property for wealthy Asian investors. The property is let on a 20-year lease to DIY chain B&Q which employs over 200 staff at the store - one of its largest in the UK.

The property has been sold with a rent review pencilled in for September 2006. It is expected the new landlord will be able to raise rents from their current level of £1.4m, or £11.74 per sq ft to £13.50 per sq ft rent. The selling price represents a 4.64% initial rental yield or 5.2% once the higher rent is achieved. The market for bulky good retail warehouses has run into head winds in the past 18 months in the wake of the housing slowdown and struggling performance from DIY companies. Sphere: Related Content

Amazon Signs Build-to-Suit for 700,000 SF Fulfilment Center in Leipzig

Europe Real Estate - March 22, 2006

Eurinpro has signed an agreement with global online retailer Amazon.de for the development of an over 70,000 sqm warehouse in the East German city of Leipzig. Amazon contacted Eurinpro in its search for additional fulfilment capacity in Germany. Amazons growth and product range expansion made the company look for additional capacity. Construction starts in March 2006.

The site lies only 2 km from Leipzig city centre and 2 km from the A14 highway. The warehouse will offer connection to one of the main roads that leads into Leipzig centre and has an on-site tram stop. Leipzig currently proves to be a hot spot within Germany, attracting big German industries such as BMW, Porsche and DHL. Sphere: Related Content

KPMG in Talks for New UK HQ Office Building at Canary Wharf

KPMG UK - March 23, 2006

KPMG LLP has agreed to enter into detailed discussions with Canary Wharf Group plc with a view to them providing a new, 400,000 sq ft purpose built and designed headquarters building for the UK firm in 2009. The building would replace and significantly increase the space currently occupied by KPMG in One Canada Square. KPMG has decided that the firm should maintain its presence in both Blackfriars and Canary Wharf for the medium to long term. If its plans are implemented, about two thirds of KPMG's London based partners and staff will be located in Canary Wharf from 2009. Sphere: Related Content

KinderCare Secures $650,000,000 Credit Tenant Loan on 713 Child Learning Centers

KinderCare (aka Knowledge Learning Corporation) has entered into a ten-year fixed rate $650,000,000 mortgage financing at 5.236% on 713 children's learning centers totaling 5,119,320 net rentable square feet and located in 37 states. The loans are backed by a 15-year bondable triple net Master Lease for the individual properties. The scheduled base rent shall be subject to CPI increases every five years, not to exceed a 7% maximum increase.

In January 2005, Knowledge Learning Corporation, based in Golden, Colorado, purchased KinderCare Learning Centers for approximately $550 million, plus the assumption of approximately $483 million of indebtedness. The combined company operates 1,900 early childhood education and child care centers, 656 before-and-after school programs and 123 employer-sponsored child care centers located in 39 states and Washington, D.C., serving more than 200,000 children and employing approximately 41,000 people. Sphere: Related Content

Hovnanian Enterprises Enters Build-to-Suit For New Office Building in NJ

MarketWatch - March 23, 2006

Mack-Cali Realty Corporation (CLI) today announced that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with The PRC Group to develop a 92,878 square-foot class A office building in Red Bank, New Jersey. The entire building has been pre-leased to Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. on a triple net basis for 10 years.

The building will be part of a two-building complex, known as Red Bank Corporate Plaza, to be developed by Mack-Cali. Expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2007, the building includes 88,000 square feet of office space, 4,878 square feet of retail space, and a four-story parking garage. The second building in the complex, a two-story, 18,560 square-foot class A office building, will be developed at a later date.

The property will be developed on a 3.4-acre land site located at 141 West Front Street in downtown Red Bank contributed to the joint venture by The PRC Group. Mack-Cali will serve as the leasing agent and co-management agent for the complex. No broker was involved in the Hovnanian transaction. Sphere: Related Content

Rinascente Group to Raise €1.5 Billion in Sale Leaseback of 20 Stores in Italy

The Financial Times reports that the consortium which last year bought Italian retailer La Rinascente is set to sell off its entire real estate portfolio, which could raise up to €1.5bn. The business was bought a year ago for €888m by Pirelli, the Italian company, Deutsche Bank and Investitori Associati, an Italian private equity group.

The trio plan to sell all 20 of the stores they acquired, earning back more than they paid for the entire acquisition. It is understood that the group will keep its La Rinascente-branded stores on long-term sale and leasebacks but will sell its mid-market Upim department stores outright to other retailers or property groups. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, March 24, 2006

Generale de Sante SA Completes $639 Million Sale Leaseback of 28 Clinics in France

BayStreet - March 23, 2006

Metrovacesa has signed an agreement, through its subsidiary Gecina, to purchase 28 health centres belonging to Générale de Santé for €536 million. Gecina is to invest €30 million in the renovation and extension of the installations.

The transaction is expected to close at the end of June 2006 and will involve a lease of between 10 and 14 years which will generate annual rents of €32.4 million, for a yield of 6.04%.

Générale de Santé, a company listed on the Paris Bourse, is the leading private company in the hospital market in France. It has a 15% market share and obtained 1,435 million in revenues. The group is also present in Italy and has a network of 172 health centres, with a capacity of 14,400 beds. Sphere: Related Content

West LB Seeking Sale Leaseback of European Office Portfolio

Estates Gazette reports that West LB is looking for a purchaser for 500,000 sq ft of freehold property across Europe. The German bank is the latest occupier looking to capitalise on investor appetite for property as a means of achieving greater flexibility across its estate.

Cushman & Wakefield has been instructed to market the Euro 150 million sale-and-leaseback portfolio, which includes West LB's former headquarters at 51 Moorgate, EC2. The rest of the portfolio is made up of head offices in Paris, Luxembourg, Milan, Istanbul and Hong Kong, and three German offices in Bonn, Dortmund and Dusseldorf. It will lease back around 80% of the portfolio by rental value on five- to 10-year leases. West LB's present leasehold headquarters at Woolgate Exchange, EC2, which Bankhaus Woelbern is selling, is not part of the deal. The proposed sale is part of a wider review of the bank's property needs.

West LB will join a growing list of occupiers selling off their freeholds for strategic reasons, such as ABN AMRO and Abbey. Sphere: Related Content

Groupe Casino Completes Euro 86.3 Million Sale Leaseback of Headquarters in France

AFX reports that French supermarket retailer Casino Guichard Perrachon said it has sold its headquarters in St Etienne, France, to the UK fund Matrix for 86.3 mln euro and will lease it back under a 10-year arrangement as part of a strategy of externalising its offices and warehouses. Sphere: Related Content

WA Shearings Completes £110m Sale Leaseback 39 UK Hotels

Yorkshire Post - March 24, 2006

Holiday firm WA Shearings has sold a portfolio of 39 of its UK hotels in a sale and leaseback deal worth £110m which will allow it to pay off much of its debt. The sale to property investment firm Moorfield Group comes a year after the £200m merger of Leeds-based Coach Holiday Group owner of Wallace Arnold and Wigan rival Shearings Holidays to create Britain's biggest coach holiday operator with more than 3,000 staff, a fleet of 400 coaches and coach, air and hotel holidays to more than 170 destinations in Britain and Europe.

A team from Deloitte in Leeds advised on both the merger and the sale and leaseback deal in which other Yorkshire advisers were also involved. The deal will see WA Shearings continue to operate all of the hotels, many of which are in seaside resorts and allow it to pay off a substantial part of the debt taken on at the time of the merger.

WA Shearings has signed long- term leases on the hotels, will have full operational control over the assets and will control a £25m capital investment programme over the next five years. The trend of separation between asset ownership and operation is increasingly common within the hotel sector with Travelodge, Hilton, Thistle and Accor all completing similar transactions in the last few years. Sphere: Related Content

Tesco Considering Spinoff of $21 Billion Supermarket Portfolio into New REIT

Reuters - March 24, 2006

Tesco Plc (TSCO.L) shares leapt to a new high on a newspaper report it was looking to extract more value from property assets, but Britain's biggest retailer said on Friday it had no immediate plans. "We are always looking at the different possibilities and of course we won't rule anything out, but there is nothing major on the cards right now," Tesco spokesman Jonathan Church said.

Tesco shares jumped almost 5 percent to a new high of 351 pence in early trade after the Daily Telegraph quoted Finance Director Andrew Higginson as saying the supermarket giant would look at placing its 12-billion-pound ($21 billion) freehold property into a real estate investment trust (REIT).

This would allow Tesco to place its property into a separately quoted vehicle and use money raised from selling shares in that entity to buy back its shares, the paper said. "We're obviously interested (in REITs) in the sense that we're a big property company," the Daily Telegraph quoted Tesco's Higginson as saying. "We've got people looking at whether it's a good idea."

Private equity firms have long been attracted to buying retailers to tap the value of their property portfolios and store groups are increasingly looking at ways of extracting value themselves. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Hearthstone Assisted Living Enters $419 Million Sale Leaseback of 32 Facilities Across US

Nationwide Healthcare Properties - March 22, 2006

Nationwide Health Properties, Inc. (NYSE: NHP) announced today that it has entered into definitive agreements for the acquisition and master leaseback of the 32-facility, ten-state real estate holdings of Hearthstone Assisted Living, Inc. The purchase price is $419 million plus an estimated $12 million of debt defeasance and closing costs. The transaction is anticipated to close by May 31, 2006.

In tandem with the transaction, Hearthstone's President and CEO Tim Hekker and partners will acquire 100% ownership of the company that will operate the Hearthstone facilities. Hearthstone's principal selling shareholders include Fremont Realty Capital, funds advised by Apax Partners, L.P. and Kosberg & Associates.

NHP will receive rent at an initial lease rate of 8.06% plus one percent annual fixed rent increases for an average rent yield of 8.66% over the 15-year initial term. NHP will also receive CPI-based annual rent increases of up to 2% of Hearthstone's annual gross revenue. At the beginning of the eighth year, the minimum rent is reset for the remainder of the initial term to the greater of fair market rent or 110% of the prior year's total rent. Hearthstone has agreed to provide NHP with an exclusive acquisition right on its next $150 million of potential new investments, as well as a right of first offer/last look on an additional $150 million of potential new investments.

The portfolio's current occupancy rate is approximately 89% and consists of 3,097 units. Hearthstone derives substantially all of its revenues from private-pay sources. The lease will provide for a $6 million security deposit. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bursa Malaysia Considering Sale Leaseback of Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange

TheEdgeDaily - March 20, 2006

Bursa Malaysia is considering the sale and leaseback of it's headquarters building, home of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. Bursa Malaysia is considering a return of capital to shareholders late this year, its chief executive Yusli Mohamed Yusoff said on March 20.

The Bursa's striking headquarters, built in salmon-pink stone and featuring a large courtyard fountain, is potentially up for sale and could be leased back to the exchange, Yusli said. "This is the major property that we have on our balance sheet and we are looking at the possibility of a sale and lease-back. We are still studying it and it needs to make sense for us financially. If the numbers are marginal, we may not do it."

Bursa's 2004 annual report put the total net value of lands and buildings at almost RM300 million ($81 million.) Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, March 19, 2006

InterContinental Hotels Group Completes Eur 352 million Sale Manage-Back of 24 hotels in Continental Europe

InterContinental Hotels - March 13, 2006

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC ("IHG") today announces it has sold a portfolio of 24 hotels (4,903 rooms) to a subsidiary of Westbridge Hospitality Fund LP. Westbridge is a hospitality investment fund managed by Westmont Hospitality, one of IHG's largest franchisees. The portfolio has been sold for €352m (approximately £240m), marginally above net asset value. Proceeds to IHG in cash and debt assumption are €345.2m (before transaction costs), with the balance of €6.8m relating to third party minority interests.

The hotels have been sold to Westbridge with 15 year franchise contracts. Normalised franchise fees are expected to be approximately €4m per annum. The hotels are located in Continental Europe and operate under the Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, and Express by Holiday Inn brands. The transaction is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2006.

The disposals represent a continuation of IHG’s strategy to grow its managed and franchised business and reduce asset ownership. Since separation in April 2003, IHG has disposed of, or is in the process of disposing of, 175 hotels with a net asset value of more than £2.8bn. Sphere: Related Content

NCC Completes $65 Million Sale Leaseback of Residential Complex in Berlin

Europe Real Estate - March 13, 2006

NCC, one of the leading construction and property development companies in the Nordic region, has concluded a sale leaseback agreement with the German finance group HSH Nordbank and their leasing affiliate AGV regarding properties in the Sonnengarten area, just outside Berlin. The sales price is approximately SEK 500 million ($65.4 million) and the parties will simultaneously sign an 18-year lease on the premises.

Sonnengarten is a well-established residential area situated in Glienicke-Nordbahn, north of Berlin and consists of approximately 30,000 square meters of residential space and 800 square meters of commercial premises distributed among a total of 23 properties. The 362 residential units and 13 commercial premises are located in a green environment, close to daycare centers, schools and the areas own shopping center. The area also has an underground car park with room for 169 vehicles.

According to the buyback option, NCC will be entitled to repurchase the entire property portfolio on predetermined terms and conditions after 10, 11 or 13 years. NCC will also have the right, but not the obligation, to repurchase the portfolio when the lease expires at the market value prevailing at that time. The sale is expected to be during the second quarter of 2006. Sphere: Related Content

TJX Distribution Center in Philadelphia Sells for $90 Million

GlobeSt.com - March 14, 2006

Capital Lease Funding Inc. has acquired the approximately one-million-sf warehouse distribution center at 2760 Red Lion Rd. to for just over $90.1 million, or about $89 per sf. Seller Malvern-based Liberty Property Trust, which developed the property as a build-to-suit for the TJX Companies, Inc. in 2001, obtained a return of more than $41 million.

The building is fully leased to TJX Companies, Inc. (rated A/A3 by S&P/Moody's) through June 2021. The facility, which was completed in 2001, is a strategically important one to TJX Companies, Inc. as it serves as the sole tri-state distribution facility for its Marshalls stores. CapLease financed the acquisition at closing with a $71.7 million 10-year mortgage note to Wachovia Bank at a 5.57% coupon rate. The rent increases moderately for the first three years and is flat for the remaining 12 years. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, March 17, 2006

First Industrial Realty Trust Forms $900 Million Net Lease Co-Investment Program

PRNewswire-FirstCall - March 15, 2006

First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: FR), the nation's largest provider of diversified industrial real estate, announced today that it has formed a net lease co-investment program with UBS Wealth Management-North American Property Fund Limited, a fund managed and advised on behalf of the international clients of UBS AG, a world-wide financial institution. The Program is targeting long-term single tenant net lease industrial properties throughout the United States with an investment horizon of seven to ten years.

UBS-NAPF has allocated up to $255 million in equity and First Industrial expects to co-invest up to $45 million in equity, representing an 85% and 15% equity interest, respectively. Based on expected leverage of 60% to 70%, the total capitalization of the Program could reach approximately $900 million. First Industrial will manage the properties through its full-service offices across the country. Sphere: Related Content

Rangar Warehouse in Tacoma, WA Sells for $63 Million

TheNewsTribune - March 14th, 2006

The $63 million sale of an industrial campus in Fife which was owned and is occupied by toy logistics company Rangar has set a new benchmark for the value of such property in Pierce County. The sale of the 968,000-square-foot Regal Logistics Center to by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) set a local record of $65 per square foot. The previous mark was around $60 per square foot.

Eight institutional investors, primarily pension funds, bid for the property . “There are only a handful of industrial parks that size,” said Todd Clarke, senior vice president of GVA Kidder Mathews in Tacoma. “It’s a strong investment market. A quality market will get multiple offers.”

The winning bid was submitted TIAA-CREF which arranged a long-term agreement to lease the property back to Rangar, Clarke said. The $63 million figure “exceeded our underwriting expectations,” he said. “Buyers are willing to pay a premium. These opportunities are few and far between.”

“People want to be near the port,” said Port of Tacoma spokesman Mike Wasem. “People want to be near the fulcrum of trade and the transport of materials. “Transactions like this are a great indicator about how the port is a magnet for commerce. As trans-Pacific trade grows, we’re going to see more deals like this.”

The property is located between Interstate 5 and the Puyallup River, at 6500 26th St. E. in Fife. Clarke first sold the site to the developer OPUS, which constructed the original buildings and later sold the property to Rangar. Sphere: Related Content

OBI Enters $200 Million Sale Leaseback of 18 DIY Stores in Poland

PRNewswire-FirstCall - March 16, 2006

W. P. Carey International LLC, an affiliate of investment firm W. P. Carey & Co. LLC (NYSE: WPC) , announced today that it has entered into agreements to acquire and lease back 18 facilities from OBI AG, the fourth largest Do-It-Yourself (DIY) retailer in the world, for a total purchase price that is expected to be approximately $200 million. The transaction is expected to close March 30, 2006.

The 18 facilities are located throughout Poland and include 15 existing retail stores including the Polish headquarters in Warsaw, two stores under construction and one build-to-suit retail site. Currently, OBI operates stores in Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, and Switzerland. OBI plans to use these funds to further expand its footprint throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Sphere: Related Content

Bookham Enters $24 Million Sale Leaseback of UK Manufacturing Facility

MarketWatch - March 14, 2006

Bookham, Inc. (BKHM), a leading provider of optical components, modules and subsystems, announced today that on March 10, 2006, it signed an agreement for the sale and associated leaseback of its Caswell, UK, manufacturing facility with Scarborough Developments, a UK-based property investment company. On closing, which is subject to customary closing conditions and expected to occur on or before March 30, 2006, the transaction will result in immediate proceeds to the Company of 13.8 million pounds Sterling (approximately US $24 million). As part of this transaction, the Company will enter into a long-term lease of the Caswell site with Scarborough Developments. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Southern Cross Completes £1 Billion Sale Leaseback of 294 Nursing Homes

Scotsman.com - March 10, 2006

Royal Bank of Scotland was today understood to have pulled off the biggest property deal of the year so far, buying more than half the nursing home estate of Southern Cross for an estimated £1 billion.

The deal involves RBS buying 294 of Southern Cross's 573 properties from owners Blackstone, the US private equity group, although Southern Cross will continue to operate the sites under 20-year lease agreements while paying rent.

Southern Cross is the UK's largest provider of residential care homes and runs a number of sites across Scotland, including Bonnington in Edinburgh, Tranent Care Home and Springfield Bank in Bonnyrigg. Southern Cross is expected to float on the London Stock Exchange later in the year with an estimated value of up to £500 million.

Blackstone built the homes portfolio through a number of quickfire deals in recent years. It originally bought Southern Cross for £162m in September 2004 from West private equity before buying Ashbourne Group for £85m from Electra Partners shortly afterwards. Finally, it paid around £560m to buy publicly-listed NHP in November 2004, in a move which made it the UK care homes leader - ahead of Bupa - with more than 28,000 beds across 573 sites.

According to healthcare analysts, buyers have been attracted to the sector because of the increasing old age profile of the UK, the stability of the sector and increased Government spending. Despite Southern Cross being the UK's biggest care home provider, it has only six per cent of the market. Sphere: Related Content

Property Sale Leasebacks Help Fill Corporate Pension Holes

Reuters.co.uk - March 10, 2006

Companies looking to plug big pension shortfalls are increasingly using sale-and-leaseback property deals to raise money, boosted by strong demand for real estate, said investment firm Close Brothers. Supermarket chain J. Sainsbury, defence and engineering group BAE Systems and holiday village operator Center Parcs are among firms using this technique to raise capital for pensions or other needs, the firm said in a note.

The fund-raising method is among a number of ways pension schemes are being urged to fill their deficits, caused by a greying population and low bond yields. Shortfalls stood at 76 billion pounds in January among 200 major firms surveyed by Aon Consulting last month.

Sale-and-leaseback deals have been done for many years but are now highly attractive because of strong demand for property, low interest rates and a desire by firms to make more efficient use of capital and fill their pension deficits, Daniel Morland, director at Close Brothers, told Reuters. "It is not a brand new concept ... there is a huge demand now for property."

British property returns surged 19.1 percent last year, only beaten by equities and property shares, according to data last month from research group Investment Property Databank (IPD).

The potential in sale-and-leaseback is considerable, Close Brothers said. The country's top 100 listed companies have freehold property assets with a net book value well above 100 billion pounds, compared with pension deficits of more than 37 billion pounds, it said.

The investment house recently advised on gym group Esporta's raising of new debt facilities as part of a sale-and-leaseback transaction, Morland said. Sphere: Related Content

NCC Completes $63 Million Sale Leaseback of Residential Property Near Berlin

Construction and Maintenance News - March 10, 2006

NCC has concluded a Sale-Lease-Back agreement with the German finance group HSH Nordbank and their leasing affiliate AGV regarding properties in the Sonnengarten area, just outside Berlin. The sales price is approximately SEK 500 million and the parties will simultaneously sign an 18-year lease on the premises.

Sonnengarten is a well-established residential area situated in Glienicke-Nordbahn, north of Berlin and consists of approximately 30, 000 square meters of residential space and 800 square meters of commercial premises distributed among a total of 23 properties. In addition to the right to receive rent from tenants, the lease with AGV means that NCC will be responsible for the operation and upkeep of the area in the future.

According to the buyback option, NCC will be entitled to repurchase the entire property portfolio on predetermined terms and conditions after 10, 11 or 13 years. NCC will also have the right, but not the obligation, to repurchase the portfolio when the lease expires at the market value prevailing at that time. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, March 10, 2006

Whitbread May Sell & Leaseback £1 Billion Portfolio of 46 Marriott Hotels in UK

Freeman News / AFX - March 08, 2006

The Financial Times reports that Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc is in exclusive talks with a Whitbread plc and Marriott International joint venture about buying a portfolio of 46 UK hotels for £1bn.

The hotels are currently owned by Whitbread but are operated by Marriott, the US hotel chain, which will continue to run the properties after the deal has closed, the newspaper said. It noted that RBS, which declined to comment, has a record in hotel ownership having owned Le Meridien's UK assets for several years.

The FT said RBS is also believed to be working with Egal Ahouvi, the Israeli entrepreneur, on the possible purchase of seven InterContinental Hotels Group plc properties. Sphere: Related Content

Bendigo Bank Seeking $100 Million Sale Leaseback of Headquarters in Victoria

Sydney Morning Herald - March 8, 2006

Bendigo Bank Ltd is looking to sell its new $100 million headquarters in Victoria (Australia) and lease it back when construction is completed. The bank said it is in negotiations with Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking about the possible sale and lease back of the premises in Bendigo.

'The project will involve the creation of public infrastructure in the building precinct which will be owned by the City of Greater Bendigo,' said Bendigo Bank. It said the Victorian government will commit $3.8 million towards public infrastructure development in the project. Sphere: Related Content

Dynamics Research Corp Completes $20 Million Sale Leaseback in Andover, MA

BostonSF - March 8, 2006

CB Richard Ellis/New England has brokered the sale leaseback of 60 Frontage Rd., a 135,360-square-foot office building in Andover, Mass. for $20.33 million.

Phil Giunta, Executive Vice President/Partner, and George Nugent, Senior Vice President/Partner of CB Richard Ellis/New England Partners, represented the seller, Dynamics Research Corporation, an Andover-based technology company that provides solutions and services to federal, state, and local government. CB Richard Ellis/New England also procured the buyer, Direct Invest.

Located on more than 17 acres of land and with immediate access to Route 93, 60 Frontage Rd. is a three-story, 135,360 square foot office building that is 100 percent leased to Dynamics Research Corporation. Built in 1986, the property recently underwent a total building renovation. Sphere: Related Content

Accor Announces Sale Leaseback of 76 Hotels in Europe for Eur 583 Million

CatererSearch - March 9, 2006

Accor is to sell off 76 properties with a market value of €583m (£400m). Property company Foncire des Murs will buy the properties and lease them back to Accor, which will continue to manage them under the Novotel, Mercure and Ibis brands. The transaction concerns 59 hotels, five Thalassotherapy institutes in France and 12 hotel in Belgium, with 8,300 rooms. Sphere: Related Content

Kesko Completes Eur 200 Million Sale Leaseback of 77 Properties in Finland

Forbes / AFX - March 6, 2006

Kesko, the retailer-owned wholesale group, said it has completed the sale of 77 retail properties in Finland to Niam Retail Holding Finland AB for more than 200 mln eur. All of the premises have been leased back under 5-year or 10-year agreements with options to extend, the group said. Kesko will book a gain of 99.8 mln eur on the sale, which was first announced in December.

The buyer, Niam Retail Holding Finland, is owned by Niam, the Swedish private equity firm, and Crown Asset Management, part of US-based Crown NorthCorp. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Accor to Sell and Manageback 14 Sofitel Hotels in Europe for Eur 650 Million in 2007

Forbes / AFX - March 8, 2006

Accor said it aims to raise around 650 mln eur from the sale (and manageback) of 14 Sofitel-branded luxury hotels in Europe in 2007. The group announced the plan during a conference call with analysts following its 2005 results. Accor earlier announced plans to raise a total of 1.5 bln eur through disposals in the 2005-8 period and invest 2.7 bln eur by 2010, principally in the budget sector. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Accor Announces $370 Million Sale-Manageback of Six US Sofitel Hotels

PRNewswire - March 6, 2006

Accor (OTC: ACRFF) announces the agreement to sell a portfolio of six US Sofitel hotels for $370 million to a joint venture comprised of GEM Realty Capital, Whitehall Street Global Real Estate Limited Partnership 2005 and Accor. The six hotels, totalling 1,931 rooms, are located in the major metropolitan markets of Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, San Francisco Bay and Washington D.C.

Accor will remain a 25% shareholder in the joint venture and will continue to manage the hotels under the Sofitel brand name through a 25 year contract. The transaction is in line with Accor's asset management strategy in the upper upscale segment, which is to reduce capital intensity and earnings volatility through 'sale and management back' transactions. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Residual Value Loan Product Launched

Commercial Property News - March 02, 2006

The Norseman Group, in conjunction with RVI Group, used its new product, the Zero Tenant Note, or ZTN, for the first time yesterday. The transaction was a $2.3 million ZTN on six Best Buy properties owned by a large portfolio owner of single tenant properties. The new product is a mezzanine loan written on top of single tenant properties that are not generating current cash flow, and is encumbered by long-term, fully liquidating long-term credit tenant lease mortgage debt. Sphere: Related Content

State Street Signs Lease for New £200 Million HQ at Canary Wharf

Freeman News - February 27, 2006

Canary Wharf Group plc has announced that it has pre-sold long leasehold interests in 20 Churchill Place to Prudential Retirement Income Ltd for £199.5m with an occupational lease to SSB Realty, LLC. CWG will complete construction of the new building by autumn 2008 for full occupation by State Street in early 2009. The building will comprise approximately 300,000 sq ft of office space above ground plus ancillary space. State Street is currently an occupier at Canary Wharf in the One Canada Square tower where it leases five floors from CWG.

20 Churchill Place, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, will be State Street's new London Headquarters building. It will be located at the eastern gateway to the Canary Wharf estate, opposite the new Barclays Bank plc Headquarters. The building will enable State Street to consolidate their City, West End and Canary Wharf offices into one location. It is anticipated that State Street will begin a phased move into the building in autumn 2008 to be completed in early 2009. Sphere: Related Content

Wikinvest Wire