Investment firm W. P. Carey & Co. LLC has announced that it acquired and leased back 16 retail facilities from Hellweg Die Profi-Baumärkte GmbH & Co. KG, one of the leading Do It Yourself retailers in Germany, for approximately $154 million (126 million). The transaction represents W. P. Carey's largest single European investment completed on behalf of its managed Corporate Property Associates (CPA®) series of income generating real estate funds.
The facilities, totaling approximately 1.3 million square feet, are located throughout Germany in Arnstadt, Borken, Bünde, Dorsten, Duisburg, Freiberg, Gütersloh, Bad Salzungen, Monheim, Oberhausen, Osnabrück, Rodewisch, Schmalkalden, St. Augustin, Stendal and Wuppertal. Hellweg will maintain control of the facilities, which will be under a single triple-net lease, for an initial period of 25 years.
W. P. Carey completed the transaction on behalf of CPA®:16 - Global and CPA®:15, both members of the $7 billion W. P. Carey Group. CPA®:16 Global owns 25% of the portfolio, while CPA®:15 owns the remaining 75%.
This latest acquisition adds to W. P. Carey's rapidly growing portfolio of managed properties throughout Europe consisting of more than 14 million square feet. Over the trailing 12-month period, The W. P. Carey Group has invested more than $524 million including investments with: Pohjola Non-Life Insurance Company Ltd. ($110 million, Finland); Plantasjen ASA, ($30.8 million, Finland); TietoEnator Plc. ($97.6 million, Finland); the Thales Group SA ($103 million, France); the Polestar Group ($27.8 million, United Kingdom) and the Belgian Government ($16.6 million, Belgium).
Edward V. LaPuma, President and Chief Investment Officer of W. P. Carey International, said, "This transaction represents our largest single investment in Europe and represents the growing trend among European companies who recognize the sale-leaseback as an alternative form of financing. As companies seek to improve their efficiencies many are unlocking the capital tied up in their real estate and redeploying these funds into their core competencies. We are pleased to have completed this transaction with Hellweg and are proud to add these 16 properties to our growing European portfolio."
Reinhold Semer, Chairman of Hellweg Die Profi-Baumärkte GmbH & Co. KG, said, "Our decision to choose W. P. Carey was twofold: the ease and speed in which they converted our real estate into working capital and their track record of serving as long-term partners with the companies they finance."
Jan F. Kärst, W. P. Carey Managing Director and lead investment officer on this transaction, said, "W. P. Carey has been in business for more than 30 years. Over the years we have learned the importance of relationships and valuing the partnerships we create with the companies we finance. We pride ourselves in our ability to serve the immediate and long-term financing needs of our tenant companies and look forward to our future partnership with Hellweg."
Source: W.P. Carey