Saturday, February 20, 2010

Eroski Closes $51 Million Sale Leaseback of 13 Supermarkets in Spain

IDD Magazine - December 23, 2009

W.P. Carey & Co. announced Wednesday that one of its REITs, CPA:17 -- Global, completed its first sale-leaseback transaction in Spain.

The deal involved the acquisition of a 13-facility supermarket portfolio from Spanish supermarket operator Eroski Sociedad Cooperativa for $51 million in cash.

The supermarkets are being leased back to Eroski, Spain's third-largest food and consumables retailer, on a long-term basis. A spokesman for W.P. Carey tells IDD the lease period falls within the firm's typical 15-25-year time frame, and W.P. Carey's ability to pay in cash was a major reason the deal was able to close by year-end.

"The Eroski acquisition represents an opportunity to enter the Spanish market by investing in well-located retail locations leased to an established brand-name retailer," Jeffrey Lefleur, a W.P. Carey executive director, said in a press release. "In addition, the acquisition is consistent with W.P. Carey's investment strategy of purchasing mission-critical assets that also provide industry and geographical diversification to our investment portfolio."

W.P. Carey specializes in sale-leasebacks, having completed two deals in the U.S. two weeks ago. The firm's spokesman says W.P. Carey usually engages in sale-leaseback transactions with companies in the midst of restructuring processes.

In the case of Eroski, the Basque Country-headquartered company reached an agreement earlier this week with 23 lenders to restructure its debt into one $2.4 billion loan, which is due to mature in January 2014. Goldman Sachs has been advising Eroski on its debt restructuring.

Cushman & Wakefield partner Rupert Lea and associate Yola Camacho represented Eroski on the sale-leaseback transaction. Sphere: Related Content

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