Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tesco Ponders Another £400 Million Sale Leaseback of UK Property Portfolio

Estates Gazette Blog - September 28, 2009

The FT fails to mention this morning that former City golden girl Robin Saunders is involved in a deal that will see Tesco insert £400m of its stores into a new fund called Index Linked Properties. Even so, the principle (as well as the principal) behind the fund sounds interesting.

Saunders is the photogenic American who used to make the headlines at WestLB bank before leaving after a tiff in 2003. In 2005 she set up a £1b property fund with dealmaker Paul Bloomfield. Not sure what happened to that. But Saunders runs Clearbrook Capital out of 25, Grosvenor Street. Last summer she announced the firm had a £1b to spend.

The FT says Clearbrook and DTZ are to manage Index Linked Properties: a name which betrays the cautious thinking behind the fund. It will be a closed-end Jersey investment company which will only add properties with index-linked leases to the £400m of stock that Tesco are contributing by way of sale and leaseback.

What can go wrong? Finding more of the same stock perhaps? There are now dozens of nascent property funds, many given to empty boasting of having £1b of "firepower". But here we have a fund that appears to have bagged £400m of safe and solid stock and only wants more of the same. Sounds like a buy. Sphere: Related Content

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