NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 01/10/2005 -- Investment firm W. P. Carey & Co. LLC (NYSE: WPC) announced today that it acquired and leased back two retail stores owned by Plantasjen ASA, the leading garden superstore chain in the Nordic region, for $30.8 million (EUR 22.7 million). The stores, totaling 155,051 square feet, are located in Vantaa, Finland (96,302 square feet) and LinkÃ¶ping, Sweden (58,749 square feet). This transaction represents W. P. Carey's first investment in Sweden and fourth in Finland. Plantasjen is a portfolio company of EQT, a leading private equity group in Northern Europe.
The transaction was completed on behalf of Corporate Property Associates 16 Global Incorporated (CPAÂ®:16 - Global), a member of the $7 billion W. P. Carey Group of income generating, publicly held, non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs). The properties will be leased back for an initial period of approximately 20- and 25-years in Finland and Sweden respectively.
This latest acquisition adds to W. P. Carey's rapidly growing portfolio of managed properties in the European market, which consists of more than 13 million square feet. Earlier this month, the W. P. Carey Group acquired and leased back the corporate headquarters of Pohjola Non-Life Insurance Company Ltd. (POH1V.HE), one of the largest Scandinavian insurance companies and financial institutions, for approximately $110 million (EUR 83.6 million). The W. P. Carey Group has invested more than $385 million in Europe over the past twelve months completing transactions with: 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, Chief Investment Officer of W. P. Carey International, said, "We are very pleased to have completed this transaction as it represents our first investment in Sweden and further reflects our interest in broadening our investments throughout the world as companies seek financing to grow and expand their businesses. We expect to enlarge our Scandinavian presence in the future, but we will continue to partner with Companies worldwide as they seek financing to grow and expand their businesses. Regardless of the property-type, if the asset is important, a sale-leaseback helps corporations monetize their bricks and sticks and redeploy this capital into their core competencies."
Dean Zuzic, Chief Executive Officer of Plantasjen, said, "As a high growth, multi-national retailer, we depend on trusted partners to finance our expanding real estate footprint. W. P. Carey is just such a partner, ready and willing to go to where we need to be. We are pleased to have worked with them."