Friday, April 17, 2009

Macaroni Grill Completes Sale Leaseback of 39 Restaurants

CoStar Group - April 15, 2009

In mid-December 2008, Dallas-based Cardinal Capital Partners, together with New York City-based Fortress Credit Corporation emerged as the buyer of a single-tenant portfolio of 39 Macaroni Grill restaurants, which are net leased for 20 years to Macaroni Grill's new private equity owner, Golden Gate Capital. The Cardinal-Fortress team specializes in corporate sale-leaseback transactions. In July 2008, the duo completed a sale-leaseback transaction with the new owner of Applebee's, acquiring 181 restaurants for $303 million. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

HSBC Mulls $4 Billion Sale Leaseback of Properties in New York, London and Paris

Bloomberg - April 12, 2009

HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest bank, may sell three of its landmark office buildings, including the Canary Wharf world headquarters in London, to raise cash as it tries to avoid a bailout from the British government.

HSBC is gauging interest in its 45-story tower at 8 Canada Square in London, its Fifth Avenue skyscraper in New York, and its Paris offices on the Avenue des Champs Elysees, said Ruth Lavelle, a London-based spokeswoman for HSBC. The Sunday Times of London reported the potential sales earlier today at a combined asking price of 2.7 billion pounds ($3.96 billion). The newspaper didn’t include the source of its information and Lavelle, in an e-mail, said she couldn’t confirm a price.

The London-based bank is seeking to sell at a time when financing for commercial real estate is difficult and values are falling. In New York, transactions dropped 40 percent in the first quarter compared with a year earlier, according to broker Cushman & Wakefield Inc., and U.K. values fell 29 percent in the 12 months through February, Investment Property Databank Ltd. said in a March 13 report.

“Despite the challenging environment, the properties can be moved if HSBC is willing to offer attractive lease-back and seller-financing terms to a prospective buyer,” Dan Fasulo, managing director of New York-based research firm Real Capital Analytics Inc., said in an e-mail message.

HSBC would probably lease the offices back from any buyer, the Times reported.

“The sale price will be predicated on the lease terms HSBC is willing to accept” to rent back the space, Fasulo said.

Share Sale

HSBC raised 12.5 billion pounds in the U.K.’s largest rights offer earlier this month. The bank needs cash to help counter the $15.5 billion pretax loss of its North American operation for 2008 and to add to the $53 billion it set aside during the past three years to cover bad loans. It has so far avoided taking U.K. government funding, unlike rivals Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc.

“As part of managing a significant global real estate portfolio HSBC is testing the market with three of its landmark property assets,” HSBC said in a statement. “HSBC constantly monitors the commercial property market carefully, making decisions based on what is most appropriate for the business and our stakeholders.”

Two years ago HSBC sold the Canary Wharf headquarters to Spanish developer Metrovacesa SA for 1.09 billion pounds in the first sale of a U.K. office building to top 1 billion pounds.

Bought It Back

HSBC then rented offices there at an annual rate of 43.5 million pounds. In December, it bought the building back from Metrovacesa for 838 million pounds, a profit of 250 million pounds. The bank built the tower in 2002.

The New York Times Co. struck a similar deal last month, agreeing to sell the space it occupies in its Manhattan headquarters for $225 million to W.P. Carey & Co., a New York- based real estate investment bank. The newspaper company will rent the building for 15 years from the new owner with an option to buy back its stake in 2019 for $250 million.

Manhattan office vacancy rates in March rose to their highest in more than five years, according to Los Angeles-based real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis Group Inc.

In London’s financial district, empty office space is also at a five-year high, according to NB Real Estate.

HSBC’s London headquarters accommodates about 8,000 workers and was designed by Norman Foster. The 29-story New York property, built in 1985, is at 452 Fifth Ave. between 39th and 40th streets and has 500,000 square feet, according to the Web site Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

MPS Bank Seeking EUR 2.2 Billion Sale Leaseback of Bank Offices Across Italy

PropertyEU - April 6, 2009

Italy's Caltagirone Group is said to be the frontrunner in a bid to acquire the real estate assets that Monte Paschi di Siena bank put on the market last year, news agency Radiocor reported. The properties, worth a total of EUR 2.2 bn, are being sold in a sale and leaseback operation managed by Mediobanca. According to media reports, Mediobanca is working on the creation of a consortium of investors including Credit Suisse which would buy the bulk of the properties. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

DHL Agrees to EUR 30 Million Sale Leaseback of Three Benelux Distribution Centers

Property Week - April 2, 2009

Shareholders of closed-end real-estate investment company WDP have approved a proposal for the company to acquire three logistics sites from international courier DHL. The sites located in the axis between Breda in the Netherlands and Brussels have a total construction potential of 85,000 m2.

DHL will lease back the properties, making WDP the largest provider of real estate space to the firm in Belgium. WDP's shareholders also approved the issuance of 807,733 new shares at EUR 27.15 each to pay for the non-cash transaction.

The transaction will take the form of a merger and three partial de-mergers involving the new shares and the transfer of debt. This will result in a total investment value of EUR 29.7 mln for a gross initial return of 8.7%. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, April 06, 2009

Kesko Completes EUR 50 Million Sale Leaseback of Retail Stores in Finland

IPE - April 3, 2009

The Kesko Pension Fund has bought four retail properties for €50m in a sale and leaseback deal with Finnish trading company Kesko Group.

The €400m Finnish pension fund has purchased a total of 26,000 square metres of store space in Finland, including the K-citimarket in Helsinki, K-rauta Lielahti in Tampere, interests in the K-supermarket Nekala and K-citymarket properties in Tampere.

The pension fund currently allocates 40% to real estate and invests mainly in Finnish trading centres.

Velko Savela, the pension fund’s executive vice president, said the real estate portfolio returned around 8% last year but saw very few transactions.

Savela said the fund held off from making new investments in 2008 and sold very few properties, but is currently considering increasing its allocation to real estate slightly.

The latest deal does not involve any changes in the stores’ operations and all properties have been leased back to Kesko’s parent company for a further 10-15 years.

Kesko Group said it gained around €19m from the transaction, once debt had been added, and said the sale was designed to boost the firm’s liquidity and improve its use.

At 31 December 2008, Kesko owned one million square metres of properties and had 2.9 million square metres of properties leased in Finland and neighbouring Nordic countries. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Ford Mulls £100 Million Sale Leaseback of Over 100 Auto Showrooms Across Europe

Property Week - March 30, 2009

Ford, the car giant led by chief executive Alan Mulally, is looking to sell off 100 to 120 showrooms across Europe.

Agents have been invited to pitch to run a sale-and-leaseback of properties in the UK, France and Germany. It is understood that Ford's management hopes to raise around £100m by selling the properties to landlords, which would then rent them back to the car maker. (Independent On Sunday) Sphere: Related Content

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