Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Citigroup Seeking $500 Million Sale Leaseback of HQ & Property Portfolio in India - June 23, 2008

Reeling under the US bad loans crisis, Citigroup will raise around $500 million by selling some real estate properties in India, including its headquarters in Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai.

The company has appointed Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj to do a valuation of the headquarters. It is also selling some corporate offices and prime residential properties in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. In Mumbai, it has already liquidated about 8 residential properties in the last one year. Recently, it sold a property here to a Bollywood actor for a whopping Rs 30 crore.

Industry officials said the company plans to sell the BKC headquarters and lease it back. When contacted by Financial Chronicle, chairman and country head of Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, Anuj Puri, refused to comment.

While Citibank plans to layoff around 2,000 people globally, its India operations are unlikely to face job cuts. Its investment banking division is growing here, with the firm having appointed Nalin Nayyar, formerly with Lehman Brothers, as a managing director in April.

Citigroup India's headcount has risen to over 22,000 from 21,000 a year earlier. It also hired a new head of mergers and acquisitions, Sameer Nath, who was shifted from Citigroup's US operations.

The company has stopped renting flats to employees. “Since the company plans to sell and lease it back, builders or developers may not be interested. People like high net worth individuals or private equity investors may buy this property,” said an official with IL&FS Property Manage-ment Services, the facilities management arm of IL&FS. Sphere: Related Content

Bank of America Nears $190 Million Sale Leaseback of Chicago Office Tower

Crain's Chicago - June 25, 2008

Bank of America Corp. is close to a deal to sell the former LaSalle Bank Building for roughly $190 million and lease back as much as two-thirds of the 1.2-million-square-foot landmark tower.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based banking giant is in final negotiations to sell the 44-story skyscraper at 135 S. LaSalle St. to New York-based AmTrust Realty Corp., according to sources familiar with the transaction. B of A inherited the Art Deco classic as part of last year’s acquisition of LaSalle Bank’s parent company.

A B of A spokesman confirmed the negotiations with AmTrust but declined to comment on the price. He also declined to comment on how much space the bank would lease, except to say that no jobs would be affected by the deal.

The bank currently occupies about 800,000 square feet in the building, according to real estate research firm CoStar Group Inc.

As a result of the deal, B of A will reduce its occupancy expenses and cut costs by getting out of the property management business for outside tenants, the spokesman said in an e-mail. “This transaction also would free up capital and allow us to continue to reinvest in our businesses,” he said in the e-mail.

B of A has offered to provide a loan to the winning bidder, sources say, a key boost to the deal at a time when many potential transactions are not moving ahead because of the difficulty of obtaining financing.

The deal could close as soon as next month. An executive with Chicago-based real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., which is advising B of A in the sale, declined to comment.

The transaction is believed to be the second Chicago acquisition for AmTrust Realty, a low-profile real estate investment firm owned by brothers Michael and George Karfunkel.

In April 2004, Amtrust acquired 33 W. Monroe St., which once housed the headquarters of defunct accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLP. Since then, Amtrust has leased up the 879,000-square-foot building. The vacancy rate has dropped to 10.1%, compared to 67.1% when purchase was made, according to CoStar. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, June 20, 2008

MAXIMA Completes EUR 46.6 Million Sale Leaseback of Supermarket Portfolio in Lithuania

PR Inside - June 18, 2008

Re&Solution has acted as a sole advisor of the largest retail chain of food products and manufactured goods in the Baltic States MAXIMA in EUR 46.6 million supermarket portfolio sale and leaseback transaction

The Norwegian investment banking company VERDISPAR, representing its investors through the company VERDISPAR Retail Properties II, has acquired a 26,500 sq. m (285,300 sq. ft.) real estate portfolio from MAXIMA. Verdispar paid LTL 161 million (EUR 46.6 million) for nine supermarkets (MAXIMA X and MAXIMA XX) situated in the largest cities of Lithuania: Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Alytus and Siauliai, as well as in Ukmerge and Plunge. MAXIMA will continue to do business in these supermarkets as the chain has signed long-term leaseback contracts with VERDISPAR. The transaction will be formally completed after it is approved by the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania.

Mr. Ricardas Cepas, Re&Solution partner said: 'time to buy commercial property in our countries is particularly attractive now. Increased costs of borrowing and significantly tightened credit policy have induced developers to start considering alternative financing opportunities, for example, forward funding or disposing of currently possessed assets. Moreover, quality of investment products has improved substantially compared to for example 2006/2007. The largest shopping centre developers and retail chains have started sales of their assets. The biggest shopping centre, one of the largest logistic hubs is on sale presently; the strongest retail chains consider JV and sale and lease back opportunities; the strongest developers search for development and financial partners. MAXIMA sale and leaseback transaction is an obvious proof of quality of available opportunities, thus we expect that the deal will encourage institutional investors to explore the region and investigate the best investment possibilities ever'.

The transaction was partly financed by SEB and Nordea banks. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Imo Planning £60 million Sale Leaseback of Car Wash Properties Across Europe

Telegraph - June 15, 2008

Carlyle Group is heading for a showdown with debt investors of Imo, the world's biggest car wash company, as the private equity house revealed plans to dipose of the group's property assets to raise more money.

Carlyle, which is nick-named the ex-presidents' club for employing political heavyweights such as James Baker and John Major, has in recent weeks asked the debt investors of Imo to approve of a sale and lease back of car wash sites that would raise £60m. The debt investors are concerned about the proposals since the property is the main collateral for their investment.

One investor said: "This seems to be an effort on the part of Carlyle to use our security rather than put in more equity themselves. It is not satisfactory." Debt holders have been asked to approve the scheme in the next few weeks.

Carlyle wants to raise the additional money to fund an expansion plan of new car wash sites across Europe. The car wash company had a tough year last year after poor weather affected trading. Experts say that people are more likely to get their cars washed when the weather changes. Last year there were long periods of constant rain or sun.

This year the group says business has been strong so far. Even so Carlyle wants to build more sites to ensure a wider catchment area but needs additional funding.

Imo currently owns 900 car wash sites in 14 countries, that wash over 34 million vehicles each year. In the UK, Imo has 300 sites trading as Arc Clean Car Centres. The next biggest presence is in Germany where is has 335, with the remaining sites spread across 12 other countries.

Carlyle bought the group in 1996 from JP Morgan Partners. Previously it was owned by Bridgepoint Capital, which had led a management buy-in in 1998. The company was originally founded in Germany in 1965 and expanded to include sites in the UK, and throughout Europe. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rexel Completes EUR 62 Million Sale Leaseback of Six Warehouse Distribution Properties in France

Rexel Web Site - June 12, 2008

Rexel France has concluded a sale-and-leaseback agreement with Gecina Group for seven logistics platforms located in specialized logistics hubs on major trunk roads. The transaction is part of the Rexel Group’s strategy of leasing its commercial and logistics sites so as to be able to continuously adapt its real estate portfolio to market evolutions.

This transaction reduces Rexel's debt by 62 million euros, of which 38 million euros were already reflected in the Q1 2008 consolidated balance sheet. The remaining 24 million euros will be accounted for in the Q2 2008 consolidated balance sheet.

These seven logistics platforms, which represent a constructed area of nearly 125,000 m², are located in Nancy (Champigneulles), Lyon (Saint-Vulbas), Marseille (Miramas), Toulouse (Tournefeuille), Nantes (Saint-Herblain), Rouen (Grand-Quevilly) and OrlĂ©ans (Meung-sur-Loire).

Six of these platforms were leased back by Rexel France under a commercial lease, whilethe Saint-Vulbas platform will be transferred to a new, larger building in the same Plaine del’Ain logistics hub.

Rexel France was advised in this transaction by the property expert Schneider
International and the Field Fisher Waterhouse law firm. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, June 13, 2008

Nomura Agrees to £235 Million Sale Leaseback of London HQ

Property Week - June 13, 2008

Fund managers IVG Asticus and AAIM are under offer to buy Nomura House at 1 St Martin’s Le Grand in the City of London. The two parties have a two-week timetable in which to complete on the 275,000 sq ft building and lease it back to Japanese bank Nomura for around £235m at a yield of around 5%. Drivers Jonas advises Nomura.

All parties declined to comment. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dine Equity Completes $337 Million Sale Leaseback of 181 Appleby's Restaurants

SEC Edgar Web Site - June 19, 2008

On June 13, 2008, Applebee’s Restaurants Kansas LLC, Applebee’s Restaurants Mid-Atlantic LLC, Applebee’s Restaurants North LLC, Applebee’s Restaurants Texas LLC, and Applebee’s Restaurants West LLC (collectively the “Tenant”) entered into a Master Land and Building Lease (the “Master Lease”) with DBAPPLEF, LLC (the “Landlord”) relating to 181 parcels of real property, each of which is improved with a restaurant operating as an Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar (the “Properties”).

The Master Lease calls for an initial term of twenty years and four five-year options to extend the term which are exercisable by the Tenant or its successors. The initial monthly base rent under the Master Lease will be $2,612,916.66. The initial monthly base rent is subject to a 2% increase on each of the following dates: January 1, 2009; July 1, 2010; July 1, 2011; July 1, 2012; and July 1, 2013. Thereafter, the monthly base rent shall increase by ten percent (10%) of the monthly base rent preceding such increase in base rent on each of July 1, 2018 and July 1, 2023. The Master Lease provides for rent adjustments during each of the option periods as well. Additionally, the tenant under the Master Lease is responsible for additional rent equal to any and all fees, expenses, taxes and other charges of every kind and nature arising in connection with or relating to the Properties.

The Tenant may sublease all or a portion of the Properties, without the Landlord’s consent, provided that certain conditions are met. In addition, the Tenant may assign its interest in the Master Lease with respect to some or all of the Properties, without Landlord’s consent, provided that certain conditions are met and the assignee agrees to enter into a direct lease with the Landlord on a pre-approved form attached to the Master Lease (“Assigned Leases”). Further, if such assignment is to a qualified franchisee meeting certain parameters set forth in the Master Lease, the Tenant shall be released by the Landlord from all obligations with respect to any Assigned Lease.

(Note: Transaction reflects an initial cap rate of approximately 9.3%.) Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Volkswagen of America HQ Near Washington, DC Sold

Washington Business Journal - June 6, 2008

A German investment firm has purchased the local headquarters of Volkswagen of America Inc.

Union Investment Real Estate AG, a Hamburg-based investment management company, bought the Tishman Speyer-owned property, known as Woodland Pointe, for an undisclosed amount.

The 184,787-square-foot Class A property has been valued at $100 million. Last fall, Volkswagen signed a 15-year net lease to move its headquarters from Michigan this year. New York-based Tishman Speyer delivered the six-story building in January.

It is expected to be fully occupied by the end of the year, also housing the U.S. headquarters for Audi of America Inc., Audi Financial Services, Volkswagen Credit and other affiliated operations.

Union Investment Real Estate made the purchase due to the property's tenants, the proximity to Dulles International Airport and its visibility along the Dulles Toll Road, said Zeb Bradford, managing director of Metzler, Union Investment's real estate adviser in the U.S. The buyer made the acquisition for UniImmo, its global open-ended real estate fund.

Union Investment Real Estate is planning several other strategic acquisitions in the D.C. area this year, according to Bradford.

Tishman Speyer will continue to manage Woodland Pointe, which is located among 1.7 million square feet of office space in Woodland Park. Roy Bajtel, head of Union Investment's New York City office, represented the company in the negotiations. Drew Flood and Bill Collins of Cassidy Pinkard and Colliers brokered the deal. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, June 02, 2008

Kesko Completes EUR 31 Million Sale Leaseback of HQ & Logistics Property in Finland

Kesko Web Site - May 30, 2008

Kesko Corporation and the Kesko Pension Fund have sold the office and logistics property located at Tikkurilantie 10, Hakkila, Vantaa, to Aberdeen Real Estate Fund Finland in a transaction closed today. The price paid by the fund to Kesko and the Kesko Pension Fund totals about €31 million, of which Kesko´s share is about €10 million. The Kesko Group recognises a gain of about €4 million on the disposal, which will be reported as a non-recurring item in Rautakesko´s profit for the second quarter.

Rautakesko will continue as the principal user of the premises under a long-term lease. Approximately half of the premises have been leased to logistics companies outside Kesko. Premises not used by Kesko are not included in the leaseback system and the buyer will be responsible for them in the future. The total lease area of the property is about 26,000 m².

'The aim of the property disposal is to enhance the use of the Kesko Group capital. The proceeds will be used to strengthen the store network in Finland and abroad,' says Kesko´s Arja Talma, Senior Vice President, CFO. Sphere: Related Content

Brocade Communications Considering Sale Leaseback of $223 Million HQ in San Jose / - May 29, 2008

Brocade Communications is spending approximately $223 million on a new headquarters office complex on North First Street. The locally based public company currently keeps its headquarters at 1745 Technology Dr. on a lease that runs out in the middle of 2010.

In an SEC filing this week the provider of datacenter networking solutions says it purchased three unimproved building parcels from MFP/Hunter@First Office Partners LLC for $50.9 million. It retained an affiliate of the seller to develop three office buildings totaling 562,000 sf for an additional $173 million that will be paid in installments over the next 27 months.

The new campus will consist of two seven-story buildings and one four-story building and will have a capacity of approximately 2,200 people, allowing the company to consolidate not only its headquarters at 1745 Technology Dr. but also a building it owns several blocks away at Skyport Plaza. Brocade’s two existing local buildings total about 400,000 sf, a company source tells

With regard to the decision to buy or lease, a company source tells that the company evaluated both kinds of transactions and “found that this was very fiscally responsible and met our needs.”

Depending on the market or other circumstances, Brocade may evaluate entering into a sale-leaseback transaction with respect to the property and buildings at a future date, according to SEC documents. As part of the deal the company also obtained a four-year option to take down a fourth parcel totaling four acres for $26 million. Sphere: Related Content

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