Saturday, September 30, 2006

Federated to Pursue Sale Leaseback of Department Store Portfolio?

Chicago Sun Times - September 28, 2006

Federated Department Stores, owner of Macy's and Bloomingdale's, looks ripe to be raided by billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn, sending the company's stock price to a record Wednesday.

Federated announced on Wednesday that Icahn intends to buy $113.4 million to $500 million of stock, in addition to the 2 million shares he already owns. A $500 million buy would give Icahn about 11.5 million shares of Federated stock, or 2.5 percent, a more than six-fold increase in his stake.

Icahn gained fame and wealth buying big blocks of stock in distressed companies, installing his allies on the board of directors, and forcing executives to cut costs, sell assets and give the rewards back to shareholders.

"Icahn is a guy who shakes up management and demands change," said Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates Inc., a national retail consulting and investment banking firm in New York.

Icahn probably sees value in Federated's real estate -- department stores in shopping malls nationwide -- and he will be impatient about unlocking the value quickly, Davidowitz said. Icahn could force Federated to sell many of its stores, lease them back and continue to operate them as department stores, Davidowitz said. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Massimo Zanetti Beverage-USA Signs Long Term Lease for VA Warehouse

CoStar Group - September 22, 2006

In what could be the largest industrial lease of the year for the Hampton Roads region, Massimo Zanetti Beverage-USA Inc. signed a 15-year lease for 228,564 square feet at 200 Port Centre Parkway.

The company will use the facility for storage and distribution of its coffee brands that includes Chock full o' Nuts. The company is set to move into the facility early next month. The industrial building features 12,209 square feet of office space, 16,000 square feet of mezzanine space, 4,500 square feet of conditioned shop space and 196,055 square feet of warehouse space.

Charles Dickinson of NAI Harvey Lindsay represented the landlord, Gerdau International Inc., while Don King and Ned Williams of William E. Wood and Associates represented the tenant. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, September 23, 2006

TravelCenters of America to Sell and Leaseback 162 Service Stations in 40 States

Hospitality Properties Trust Press Release - September 18, 2006

Hospitality Properties Trust (NYSE: HPT) today announced that it has entered an agreement to purchase TravelCenters of America, Inc. ('TA') from a group of private equity investors led by Oak Hill Capital Partners, L.P. for total consideration of approximately $1.9 billion.

When this transaction is closed, HPT will retain substantially all of TA's real estate and transfer TA's operating business to a subsidiary which will be distributed to HPT's shareholders. TA's substantial real estate will be retained by HPT and leased to TA. HPT currently expects this transaction to close in early 2007.

A typical TravelCenters site includes 20 acres of land, parking for about 170 tractor-trailers and 100 cars, a 150-seat restaurant, truck repair facilities and gas and diesel stations. About 20 of TravelCenters' sites also include a hotel.

John Murray, President of HPT, stated that "The HPT lease will have the same security features which characterize HPT's existing hotel leases and management contracts: one long term lease for all the properties, a strong parent company guaranty, all or none renewal options, etc. Moreover, based upon historical experience in TA's business, we believe the percentage rents which HPT receives from the New TA may not be subject to the financial cyclicality which has historically affected hotels."

Merrill Lynch & Co. acted as exclusive financial adviser to HPT in this transaction. TravelCenters of America was advised by Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse. Sphere: Related Content

Christian Salvesen Enters £47.5 Million Sale Leaseback of Six Distribution Centers

Life Style Extra / AFX - September 22, 2006

Christian Salvesen PLC said one of its UK units has exchanged contracts for sale and leaseback arrangements in respect of certain of its properties to Carisbrooke Investments Ltd Partnership, namely the distribution warehouses at Leigh, Motherwell, Normanton and Hinckley and cold stores at Nuneaton and Bedworth.

The sale and leaseback is expected to be completed on Sept 27 and the total payable to Christian Salvesen is 47.5 mln stg in cash. At March 31 2006 the net book value of the properties agreed to be sold was 19.3 mln. The money from the sale will be used to repay existing bank borrowings.

The leases which are to be granted to Christian Salvesen as part of the transaction are for a period of 10 years, except for the property at Bedworth where the Group is to take a lease for 15 years. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, September 22, 2006

Muvico Secures $64 Million in Lease Financing for Two New Theatres

Miami Herald - September 21, 2006

Muvico Theaters has secured $64 million worth of real estate financing that will help the Fort Lauderdale-based company build theaters in Boynton Beach and the Chicago area, the company said Wednesday.

The financing, from iStar Financial, will allow the movie theater chain to expand its luxury-style theater experience to the Chicago suburb Rosemont. That 4,000-seat cinema will include a separate wing devoted to its ''premier'' concept, which includes valet parking, a private restaurant/bar outside the theater and oversized love seat-style seating inside.

Unlike the premier section at its Boca Raton facility, where the seats are in the balcony, the Rosemont premier section will be in an extended separate section of the auditorium.

The company's premier seats, which in Boca Raton cost $18 rather the regular $9, include all-you-can-eat popcorn, valet parking and access to the VIP section and restaurant/bar.

The iStar financing will speed up the opening of the 14-screen megaplex theater in Boynton Beach at the Boynton Beach Mall on Congress Avenue. The Boynton Beach and Rosemont theaters are scheduled to open next summer.

Under the terms of the agreement, iStar will own the land and the buildings that Muvico will lease and operate. Muvico Theaters operates 12 theaters throughout Florida and has theaters in Baltimore and Memphis. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

AT&T Seeking Sale Leaseback of Regional HQ Office Tower in Cleveland, OH

The Plain Dealer - September 19, 2006

AT&T Inc. is shopping for a buyer for its 16-story headquarters in downtown Cleveland, but the telecommunications giant said it plans to keep all of its 1,100 local employees there. The 464,000 square-foot building, at 45 Erieview Plaza and 1180 Lakeside Ave., has served as a hub for the region's largest telephone service since 1983. AT&T spokeswoman Kim Kowalski said AT&T is selling the building with intentions to lease the property with a minimum commitment of 10 years. Kowalski said the company is seeking the 'sale/leaseback' option to manage its capital better. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ottawa Gov't Evaluating $2 Billion Sale Leaseback of Property Portfolio

Globe and Mail - September 18, 2006

Ottawa has hired a pair of investment banks to advise it on a range of options for about $5-billion worth of federal buildings, a review that could recommend spinning off some of these properties into a publicly traded real estate investment trust.

Public Works and Government Services Minister Michael Fortier said Friday that BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. and RBC Dominion Securities Inc. have won a mandate to help the government deal with its aging property portfolio, which needs an estimated $4-billion worth of investment for renovations and maintenance.

The banks will focus on 35 of the 325 Crown-owned buildings, which account for more than half the value of its holdings. This group includes the National Library and Public Archives and the Lester B. Pearson buildings in Ottawa; the NFB Building in Montreal; the Sinclair Centre in Vancouver; and a pair of office complexes in Toronto.

A banker working on the advisory team said the process is 'wide open' in terms of options, whether that be orchestrating a sale and leaseback of some of the landmark buildings or bundling a select few into a REIT. He said the estimated value of the 35 properties under consideration is about $5-billion, and predicted the review could lead to a significant transaction, perhaps as much as $2-billion. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Belgian Govt Announces Eur 1.2 Billion Sale Leaseback of Property Portfolio

Forbes - September 15, 2006

Belgian real estate group Cofinimmo SA said it has been chosen by the Belgian government as the real estate partner for a new closed-end real estate investment company, called a sicafi (societe d'investissement a capital fixe immobilier).

The company's property portfolio will be worth 1.2 bln eur and the company will be listed next year. After the IPO the company will be owned 57-60 pct by Cofinimmo, 10 pct by the state, and 30-33 pct free float. The IPO should be worth around 200 mln eur, according to Cofinimmo, with the total capital gain going to the state.

The portfolio will consist of 79 office properties and the platform for erection of the World Trade Centre 4 tower in Belgium, which will be let to the Belgian state buildings agency for the use of the Federal Ministries, or to the European Commission. The total office area available will be 600,000 square metres.

Initially, Cofinimmo will create the company by contributing, in kind, 12 of its properties which are worth an estimated total of 525 mln eur. The State will then contribute in cash an amount corresponding to 10 pct of the company's capital. In a third step the company, which is currently known as 'Sicafi 2006', will buy 67 properties from the state for 647 mln eur and take over a 74 mln eur financial lease obligation for one of the properties. These transactions will be completed on 31 December 2006 at the latest. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, September 15, 2006

JDS Uniphase Seeking $43.5 Million Sale Leaseback of Office Campus in CA

EasyBourse - September 14, 2006

JDS Uniphase Corp. (JDSU) signed an agreement this month to sell its Santa Rosa, Calif., office campus for $43.5 million, the company said Thursday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

There are 13 buildings on the campus, comprising about 492,000 total square feet, the Milpitas, Calif.-based company said. JDS Uniphase signed an agreement to lease back six of the buildings, which contain about 274,000 square feet, for up to 10 years, the filing said.

The company didn't indicate who was buying the campus in the SEC filing. JDS Uniphase is evaluating the accounting impact of the sale, it said. The agreement also has several conditions that JDS Uniphase expects to resolve by year's end, the filing said.

JDS Uniphase provides communications test and measurement solutions and optical products for telecommunications, cable and network equipment companies. Sphere: Related Content

Swiss Re Seeking Sale Leaseback of Landmark London HQ

EasyBourse - September 15, 2006

Swiss Re has put its London HQ building on the market. The 40-storey building is being marketed by DTZ, which is also the letting agent for the building. If the price reaches GBP600 million, it will be the largest ever sale of a single property asset in the U.K.

Swiss Re occupies floors two to 15, and the rest of the building is let to tenants including law firm Mayer Brown Rowe and Maw and Hypo Real Estate Bank International. Four floors remain vacant.

In a statement released later, Swiss Re said it was in the process of evaluating the sale of its London HQ building to benefit from a strong investment market. It would not comment further on the reasons behind the sale. The company said it would continue to have its headquarters in the building following a change of ownership, and would lease back the floors it occupies from the new owner. It said it wanted to maintain its association with the building, which has won an architectural award.

The move comes amid warnings from property analysts of a slowdown in the property investment market. Mike Prew at Lehman Brothers said the investment market 'is a bit narrower, so instead of six bidders you might only get two' but he thinks there is still an appetite for offices in the City of London.

The office space at 30 St Mary Axe didn't let as quickly as expected due to its unusual floorplates which Prew sees as a potential problem for a purchaser. "Architecturally it is very interesting but in terms of practical use as an office building it has inefficient floor plates (floor space on each level) and there are practical problems with a building of a unique shape," he said.

Other very large single property assets in London have failed to sell recently with the GBP540 million sale of Shell Mex House on the Strand falling through in June and Land Securities (LAND.LN) failing to find a buyer for its Devonshire House building on Piccadilly which is being marketed at GBP245 million. Sphere: Related Content

H&M Awards 115,000 m² Distribution Center Build to Suit Transaction

Europe Real Estate - September 11, 2006

The biggest German logistics transaction of the past few years has recently been completed in Hamburg. The garment company Hennes & Mauritz (H & M) is to have an ultra-modern distribution center erected with an area of about 115,000 m² in the Allermöhe district of Hamburg. H & M was advised on an exclusive basis by Atisreal Germany, which staged an international investor contest won by The Carlyle Group which will now build the logistics and warehouse centre for H & M.

The Carlyle Group acquired the site through its European property fund Carlyle Europe Real Estate Partners II from City of Hamburg. Construction at the Rungedamm site in the Hamburg-Allermöhe business park is expected to commence this autumn with completion scheduled for summer 2008. Around 1,000 employees will supply the German and Dutch H & M chain stores from there. In addition, the company will use the centre as a transit warehouse for handling part of the company’s globally sourced goods. H & M's German head office is also in Hamburg. Sphere: Related Content

Former DekaBank HQ in Frankfurt Sold for Euro 100 Million

DekaBank Web Site - September 14, 2006

DekaBank, Frankfurt, has sold its 20,500 square metres former headquarters building in the Frankfurt banking district to a subsidiary of UBS Wealth Management Continental European Property Fund Ltd. The building, constructed in 1996, is fully leased on a long-term basis to T-Systems, a company in the Deutsche Telekom group. DekaBank sold the office building named “Alkmene” for approximately 100 million euro. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Costa Logistics Inks $70 Million Sale Leaseback of Five Distribution Centers in Australia

Australian Financial Review reports that Melbourne's Costa Group has sold a 41,450 square metre portfolio of five warehouse distribution facilities located in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania. The buyer was Lend Lease-managed Australian Prime Property Fund Industrial (APPF) which reportedly paid approximately $70 million for the portfolio.

APPF was part of the joint venture that recently acquired the Woolworths logistics portfolio at a record low yield of 6.5 per cent. It is believed that the yield on the Costa portfolio was less than 7.0% reflecting the covenant being linked to a private company and the buildings being of lesser quality.

Buyers were reportedly asked to bid an initial rent given a set price of $70 million and 3 percent annual rent increases over an initial lease term of 15 years. Sphere: Related Content

Accor Seeking $4.1 Billion From Sale Leaseback or Manageback of 535 Hotels

Yahoo! News / AFP - September 6, 2006

French hotel group Accor has said it planned to sell (and leaseback or manageback) 535 hotels in the next few years but would create as many as 200,000 new rooms, half of them in emerging markets, under a new strategic plan for the group.

The sale of the hotel real estate is to take place by 2008 and is expected to raise 3.2 billion euros ($4.1 billion dollars), including 1.6 billion euros in cash. Accor has sold 261 hotels in the last 18 months for 1.6 billion euros.

Accor, which owns hotel chains Sofitel, Novotel and Ibis, intends to add the 200,000 new rooms to its hotel portfolio by 2010. Most of them will be opened though franchise and management agreements.

"The expansion plan is focused on emerging markets in the Middle East, in Latin America and in the BRICs -- Brazil, Russia, India and China, which represent 50 percent of openings," the group said in a release Wednesday.

Fifty-one percent of the new rooms are to be in economy class and 34 percent in the mid-range category.

The expansion plan "represents an investment of 2.5 billion euros between 2006 and 2010. Half of the investments will be committed in Europe and 44 percent in emerging markets".

It also announced a strategic review of its Red Roof Inn motel business in the US, which is an underperforming 336-strong chain of hotels present in the Midwest, the East Coast, and the South.

The announcement of a strategic review by a company often foreshadows a sale or spin-off. Accor said that a decision about its possible divestment would be taken in the next few months. Sphere: Related Content

Sabre Agrees to $80 Million Sale Leaseback of HQ near Dallas

Star-Telegram - September 9, 2006

Sabre Holdings, parent company of the Travelocity online travel service, is selling one of its Southlake headquarters buildings and leasing back the space to reduce overhead costs.

"Plain and simple, it's a smart cost-savings measure," said Michael Berman, Sabre spokesman.

Maguire Partners, developer of the Solana office park, site of the headquarters, agreed Thursday to buy the building in an $80 million deal, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sabre will consolidate its 3,200 employees, who now work on both sides of Texas 114 in the multicolored Solana development, into two buildings they occupy north of the highway. Sabre will have a five-year lease from Maguire Partners on the 375,000-square-foot space, designed by Solana architect Ricardo Legorreta.

Also included in the deal are 120 undeveloped acres, said Tom Allen, a Maguire partner. The real-estate developer sold the land to Sabre in 1999, he said. Maguire plans a mixed-use development on the land and nearby property.

The deal will save Sabre $10 million a year starting in 2008, Berman said. It's part of the company's plan to cut overhead, Berman said. The deal does not indicate that the company is in financial trouble or considering layoffs, he said.

Part of the savings will come from moving employees from 170,000 square feet the company leases in the Westlake portion of the office park. Sabre is looking at how to consolidate all of the employees into the Southlake buildings when the lease on the Westlake space is up in 2008, Berman said. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Japan's Daiei mulling selling real estate assets - MarketWatch

MarketWatch September 4, 2006

Daiei Inc. (8263.TO) said Monday that it's considering selling real estate assets as part of efforts to further improve its financial health.

In addition to 14 directly operated stores, Daiei will sell 17 affiliated supermarket outlets, two branches of subsidiary Opa Co., three food-processing facilities and three distribution centres.

A spokesman at Daiei said the Japanese retailer is mulling selling real estate assets, and 85 of the stores it owns are among subject to the sale. 'We've been going ahead with sales of real estate assets but nothing has been decided,' he said.
The comment came after the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said in its Saturday morning edition that Daiei will sell 39 properties, including core branches, in a move that is expected to raise Y80 billion to Y100 billion ($675 to $845 million). The paper said Daiei will lease back these stores and continue their operations.

A cutback in liabilities through the asset sales could help bolster the position of Daiei's biggest shareholder, Marubeni Corp. (8002.TO), which reportedly will enter talks with Aeon Co. (8267.TO) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) to sell a part of its stake in Daiei. Marubeni said last week it's open to strategic partners in operating Daiei and would consider any potential proposals from companies interested in investing in the retailer. Sphere: Related Content

Laurus Completes $87 Million Sale Leaseback of Two Distribution Centers

Reuters - September 5, 2006

Loss-making Dutch supermarket group Laurus NV (LAUR.AS) said on Tuesday it sold two distribution centres to a unit of U.S. real estate firm Heitman International LLC and entered a lease agreement with the new owners.

Laurus said in a statement the purchase price of the two properties, totalling about 68 million euros ($87 million), was almost equal to their book value. It said the disposal of one centre was accounted for in its forecasts for shareholders' equity and net debt at the end of 2006.

Laurus shares tumbled on Tuesday as investors were spooked by a spate of broker downgrades, doubts over the company's survival and speculation about a possible rights issue.

Laurus, the Netherlands' second-biggest food retailer in terms of sales after Ahold (AHLN.AS: Quote, Profile, Research), is struggling to remain solvent after a failed overhaul of its stores in the face of cutthroat competition among Dutch supermarkets.

Last week, it posted a first-half loss of 37 million euros, warned of a likely full-year loss and said it was set to breach a bank loan requirement later in 2006. Analysts said investors were also concerned by the possibility of a rights issue.

French peer Casino (CASP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) has a stake of 45 percent in Laurus and an option to take majority control from July 1, 2007 to Dec. 31, 2009. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, September 03, 2006

St George Bank Agrees to $146 Million Sale Leaseback of HQ in Adelaide South Australia

St. George Bank Web Site - September 1, 2006

St.George Bank today announced the sale and leaseback of its Kogarah Head office at 4-16 Montgomery Street, Kogarah and BankSA Head office located at 97 King William Street, Adelaide to Charter Hall.

St.George is committed to retaining full usage of both sites over the long term and has executed a lease with Charter Hall for the properties for a 15 year term, with an option for a further 25 years (5 x 5 year options).

Peter Clare, Group Executive Strategy said, "The Bank's commitment to leaseback these key properties is integral to our current operations and is part of the implementation of our overall property strategy."

Sale and leaseback transactions have become a common feature of capital management in recent years. For St.George, this transaction will unlock valuable funds, whilst retaining long-term occupancy of the sites. It will allow St.George to more efficiently deploy its capital and focus on the Bank's core activities.

St.George has had a sale and leaseback program of branches over the past four years, which is expected to continue.

The total consideration for the sale of the properties is $146 million. The profit on sale of these buildings, which represents the amount by which the consideration exceeds the carrying value of the properties, will be incorporated in the full year results for the Group announced on 1 November. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, September 01, 2006

ING Clarion acquires Procter & Gamble Distribution Center in Illinois

ING Real Estate Web Site - August 29, 2006

ING Clarion, a leading real estate investment advisory firm, announced today that it has acquired the Procter & Gamble Distribution Center in Edwardsville, Illinois for $27.4 million. The transaction, which was structured as a sale/leaseback with Procter & Gamble, was made on behalf of a separate account client advised by ING Clarion.

The Procter & Gamble Distribution Center is located in the Gateway Commerce Center in the St. Louis east submarket, one of the two largest distribution facilities in the greater metropolitan area. The facility is approximately 20 minutes from downtown and close to the intersection of Interstates I-55 and I-70. A single 806,400 square foot, state of the art warehouse, the center was built in 2001 to help meet Proctor & Gamble's expanding distribution needs. As the key distribution point for the company's fabric and home care products division, P&G will remain the sole tenant of the facility for up to 10 years. Sphere: Related Content

Lone Star Steakhouse to Pursue Sale Leaseback of Restaurants?

Kansas City Star - August 31,2006

The planned sale of Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon Inc. has stirred complaints from a substantial owner, even as directors cite a litany of problems to urge a sale. On Wednesday, Barington Capital Group LP in New York, which represents owners of 9.4 percent of Lone Star Steakhouse, complained that the deal fails to provide adequate value to the company's stockholders.

Shareholders are being asked to sell the company for $27.10 a share, or about $613 million. The would-be buyer is Dallas-based Lone Star Funds, a private equity group that is not related to the Wichita-based chain of restaurants.

Barington noted in a statement filed at the Securities and Exchange Commission that Lone Star shares had traded higher than the deal’s price less than three months before directors accepted the offer.

Barington said its own analysis showed the deal does not reflect the value of real estate Lone Star Steakhouse owns or its upscale Sullivan’s and Del Frisco’s restaurants.

(According to the company's 2006 10-K filing, the company owned 154 of its restaurants with a book value of $303 million.) Sphere: Related Content

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