Terra Firma, the buyout house that pulled out of the Alliance Boots auction earlier this week, has realized £200 million (€293 million; $399 million) from the sale-and-leaseback of some of the property estate of one of its portfolio companies Threshers, according to The Daily Telegraph. The UK off-license chain owns various retail brands, including Wine Rack, and about 2,000 shops.
The firm bought Threshers in 2000 from Whitbread and Punch for £225 million. The business has since expanded substantially, buying 200 Unwins stores in 2005. Roger Whiteside, former managing director of online supermarket Ocado, leads the Threshers management team.
Property sale-and-leasebacks offer private equity houses and investors another way to unlock value from the assets they invest in. Property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz is pressuring the board of UK retailer Sainsbury’s to restructure its property-heavy balance sheet. He has built a 5.1 percent stake in the business, calling it a real estate company with a retailer on the side.
London-based Terra Firma has invested more than €7 billion in private equity assets since its inception in 1994 and is no stranger to property with extensive real estate investments in Germany. The firm withdrew its offer for UK health and beauty chain Alliance Boots on Tuesday, after KKR upped its bid to £11 billion and its stake to 25 percent.