Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sale Leasebacks Revived as Companies Look for Cash

Property Week - January 22, 2009

Big-name owner-occupiers attempt to raise capital from property portfolios
A host of the world’s biggest companies are turning to their property portfolios in an attempt to raise cash to shore up their declining balance sheets.

Property Week understands that builders’ merchant Travis Perkins and communications company Cable & Wireless are investigating ways to raise capital from their properties.

The potential is huge, predicts GVA Grimley, which estimated in spring 2008 that the value of freehold properties held on the FTSE 200 companies’ balance sheets totalled £163bn.

Julian Lyon, chairman of the Confederation of British Industry’s property group and manager of European real estate at General Motors, said: ‘All companies must keep under constant review how they raise working capital. ‘Several options for raising capital have disappeared, so companies have to look at alternatives.’

Rumours have swept the market that other corporate occupiers such as Credit Suisse, builders’ supplier Wolseley and Honda may be considering sale and leasebacks. They would follow General Motors, which, advised by Jones Lang LaSalle, put $750m (£536m) of sale-and-leasebacks properties on the market at the end of last year, including its Detroit headquarters, the Renaissance Center.

Matthew Richards, director of corporate capital markets at JLL, said enquiries of this type had doubled over the last six months.

However, most companies are at early stages in their investigations. Cable & Wireless, which is advised by Doherty Baines, has a small portfolio of technical sale-and-leaseback properties on the market.

Credit Suisse reviews its freehold property every six months and is thought to be considering the sale-and-leaseback option for the future.

Wolseley was unavailable for comment.

Honda’s property manager, Gordon Hunt, said it was not yet the right time.

‘We are not looking at sale and leasebacks as it doesn’t appeal to us because of a simple commercial reason: the yields are not where they need to be.’

Hunt’s comments demonstrate a crucial point: that some owner-occupiers only consider them when they are desperate for cash, but others, such as Tesco and Travis Perkins, have long pursued them as a sensible business initiative.

Property director of Travis Perkins, Martin Meech, who has a sale and leaseback portfolio on the market, said: ‘Sale and leasebacks are part of an ongoing portfolio strategy for us.’

Tom Betts, finance director at Topland, which has invested in several sale-and-leaseback transactions in the past, agreed and said: ‘We are seeing a few things in their infancy at the moment. But it should not just be cash-raising to sort a problem.

We are a long-term investor and we want someone who is going to be there for the long term. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Atos Origin Completes EUR 28 Million Sale Leaseback of Offices in Madrid

PropertyEU - January 16, 2009

Germany's Real I.S. said it has acquired a property in the Julian Camarillo office district of Madrid in a EUR 28 mln sale and leaseback with IT company Firma Atos Origin. The asset is earmarked for the institutional investment fund BGV Bayerische Grundvermögen III SICAV FIS. The four-storey building has a rentable surface of 8,000 m2, and an underground parking garage with 92 spaces. The property is fully leased.

Real I.S. is the Munich-based subsidiary of Bayern LB. This is the fifth investment made by the company on behalf of its institutional fund. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tesco Completes £308 Million Sale Leaseback of Seven Stores

Property Week - January 9, 2009

Tesco has completed another two sale and leasebacks totalling £308m. It has sold three Tesco stores into a £199m joint venture with the separately run Tesco Pension Scheme. The pension scheme will take a 50% stake. A further four stores will be sold to a Prupim annuity fund client in a £109m sale and leaseback. The initial yields on all the transactions are 5.25%-5.3%. Prupim and GL Hearn advised the Prupim fund; Morgan Williams advised Tesco on both transactions; Cushman & Wakefield advised the Tesco Pension Fund. Sphere: Related Content

Telereal to Buy Trillium for £750 Million

PropertyEU - January 9, 2009

London-based property investment and services firm Telereal has agreed to acquire Land Securities' outsourcing business Trillium for £750 mln (about EUR 831 mln).

The investment volume is considerably lower than the £1 bn-plus valuations of Trillium in 2007-2008. But the deal does not include Trillium's Accor hotel portfolio which will remain within Land Securities.

In a statement, Land Securities said the headline enterprise value of £750 mln was based on Trillium's balance sheet - excluding the Accor hotels - at end-March 2008. The gross assets of Trillium (excluding Accor) were £1.57 bn end-March 2008 and £1.3 bn at end-September 2008. The sale of Trillium is expected to complete on 12 January.

Land Securities, the largest real estate investment trust in the UK, unveiled plans back in November 2007 to demerge into two separate listed companies for retail property and the London office portfolio. The group planned either to sell Trillium, or failing that list it as a separate entity. However, the worsening of the global financial crisis stymied the re-organisation, with the sales process for Trillium taking much longer than expected. Land Securities suspended the demerger plans for its retail and office divisions in November last year.

The UK REIT said on Thursday that the sale of Trillium will generate cash proceeds of £444 mln which will be used to reduce the group's net debt.

Francis Salway, CEO of Land Securities, said: 'We are pleased to have concluded this sale in a challenging economic environment. We will now focus on our core property investment and development activities. The cash proceeds will strengthen our balance she" Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, January 08, 2009

UniCredit Completes €800 Million Sale Leaseback of Milan HQ and 70 Bank Branches Across Italy

Property Week - January 6, 2009

Italian bank UniCredit has packaged a portfolio of domestic real estate, including its Milan headquarters, into a fund and sold 62% of the units to institutional investors.

The fifteen year investment fund, managed by Italian real estate manager Fimit, comprises a portfolio of the bank’s historic Palazzo Broggi building in the heart of Milan (pictured) and Livio Cambi in the city, as well as 70 banking branches and has an overall value of €800m.

UniCredit, which will lease the properties back for 18 years, will keep a 33% stake in the remaining fund units and sell a further 5% by February.

Italy’s second largest bank is under to pressure to boost its core tier one capital ratio – a key measure of balance sheet strength – to 6.7% before the end of the year.

The deal is expected to yield UniCredit a €280m profit for the fourth quarter of 2008. In the three months to September, net profit at the bank fell 54% to €551m compared with the same period last year, but beat market forecasts of €425m.

The sale is one of three disposals worth just over €2bn for the bank. It has also raised €1bn from the sale of profit sharing rights by UniCredit’s Bank Austria for €1.1bn and a stake in Atlantia, an Italian highway tolls operator, for €248m.

In October UniCredit said it needed to raise €6.6bn in additional capital through scrapping its cash dividend and tapping shareholders for extra cash. Sphere: Related Content

Marsans Completes €115 Million Sale Leaseback of Madrid HQ

Iberian Lawyer - January 6, 2009

Uría Menéndez has advised Grupo Marsans in the sale and leaseback of its headquarters in the emblematic "Edificio Pórtico" in Campo de las Naciones in Madrid.

The transaction consisted of the sale of the property for approximately €115 million to the German investment fund Union Investment Real Estate (UIRE), and the subrogation of the purchaser to the mortgage loan granted by Eurohypo for the building’s original acquisition.

A lease agreement for the entire premises was entered into simultaneously to the formalising of the sale and purchase deed, with the vendor thus becoming the lessee. The initial term of the lease is eight years, the lessee being entitled to extend this term for two additional successive periods of three years each.

Uría Menéndez’s team included Diego Armero, Maria Luisa Vara, Pablo Garrote and Francisco Bengoetxea (real estate); Carlos López Quiroga (transport); and Guillermo Canalejo and Francisco de la Puente (tax).

UIRE was advised by Gómez-Acebo & Pombo and Eurohypo by its own in-house lawyers. Sphere: Related Content

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