WP Carey ties up €155m Dutch deal

The global sale and leaseback specialist has completed a deal to buy a six property-strong portfolio of logistics properties from C1000, the Dutch supermarket company. The deal follows $1 billion of investments in Europe by the New York-listed form last year.

WP Carey & Co, the New York-listed real estate sale and leaseback business, has purchased a portfolio of six logistics properties in the Netherlands.

The firm, which manages a global portfolio valued at approximately $10 billion, said last July it was aiming to invest up to €3 billion in Europe where it sees a better opportunity for sale and leaseback deals than in the US.

The firm has since completed $580 million of transactions in the last quarter of 2010, including deals in the UK, Spain and Croatia, bringing its total investment volume for the year to $1 billion.

The deal in the Netherlands saw WP Carey invest €155 million in six C1000 supermarket supply buildings in behalf of its public, non-traded REIT affiliate, CPA 17. The acquisition brings the value of assets held by WP Carey outside of the US to $3.1 billion, reflecting 34 percent of total assets under management.

Jeffrey Lefleur, executive director of WP Carey, said: “The transaction marks WP Carey’s first deal in the Netherlands and our largest European sale leaseback since 2007, capping off a 12-month period where we have provided more than $600 million in alternative long term financing to companies throughout Europe.”

WP Carey has emerged a popular source of financing from European business which own substantial amounts of real estate but are unable to generate the sort of bank financing previously readily available prior to the global economic downturn.

C1000 is the second largest supermarket chain in the country with 440 firms and 6,000 staff. It was purchased by CVC Capital Partners in 2008 with the private equity firm stating at the time it was buying into a company with an “undermanaged format” but “strong brand name, a significant market share and significant improvement potential”.

Lefleur said: “C1000’s solid market position, together with strong equity sponsorship from CVC Capital Partners, made it an excellent investment opportunity for WP Carey and a significant addition to our European portfolio.”

Tom Heidman, CEO of C1000, said capital raised from the asset sales would allow the business to both pay down debts as well as execute certain reinvestment and rebranding strategies.