The Wall Street Journal - January 19, 2011
In a deal that highlights how European companies are using their property for alternative financing, C1000 BV, the second-largest food retailer by sales in the Netherlands, has sold all six of its logistics facilities to W.P. Carey & Co. for €155 million ($209.3 million).
The deal, which will be announced as early as Wednesday, was arranged as a sale and lease-back transaction. Under the terms of the deal, C1000 agreed to a 15-year "triple net" lease. That means that while W.P. Carey is the new owner of the property, C1000 is responsible for paying for upkeep, any modernization of the facilities and property taxes.
The logistics facilities represent C1000's entire distribution network in the Netherlands, supplying a chain of 390 full-service supermarkets across the country. C1000 is controlled by private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd., which acquired the company in 2008, when the Dutch food retailer was called Schuitema. According to CVC's website, C1000 generates about €3.9 billion in sales a year.
The deal "has allowed us to convert illiquid assets into cash," said Tom Heidman, chief executive officer of C1000, in a statement reviewed by The Wall Street Journal that could be issued as early as Wednesday. He said C1000 will use the cash to expand its business, support a rebranding campaign, and "pay down debt and optimize our capital structure."
A spokeswoman for CVC declined to comment.
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