WP Carey expands its European portfolio with the €280 million acquisition of a portfolio of 16 industrial facilities in Italy, Spain and Germany in a sale and leaseback deal with Fedrigoni, an Italian paper company.
The portfolio has been sold to the Italian Industrial Real Estate fund managed by Savills Investment Management in which WP Carey is the sole investor. The transaction took place in two tranches: the first, for €144 million, in December 2023 and the second, for €136 million, in January 2024.
The portfolio comprises 12 assets in Northern and Central Italy – all of Fedrigoni´s production facilities in the country – plus three in Spain and one in Germany providing a total of 414,000 sq m. It represents about half of the company´s real estate assets worldwide.
¨The transaction speaks to our ability to execute complex, cross-border deals for high-value assets that align with our long-term investment philosophy,” said Christopher Mertlitz, head of European investments, WP Carey. ¨In this high-rate environment, access to liquidity is key for companies to deliver on their core business objectives and broader growth strategies, making sale and leasebacks an attractive financing option.”
Fedrigoni, a company founded in 1888 which specialises in the production of luxury paper for publishing, art and packaging and has a presence in 132 countries, will continue to lease the assets for the long term.
¨It is a purely financial deal aimed at generating liquidity and the resources needed to continue investing in innovation, in developing new products, making acquisitions and proceeding with the energy transition,” said Marco Nespolo, CEO, Fedrigoni Group.
The Italian company had invested in renewable energy generation and some of the facilities acquired by WP Carey are self-sufficient and sell excess energy back to the grid.
¨The sale and leaseback deal involves us renting the same buildings for the next 20-30 years, which demonstrates our commitment to continuing production in all these places,” Nespolo said. The master leases are long-term and include annual CPI-based rental increases.
WP Carey, a sale and leaseback specialist, invested $1.3 billion last year, of which $320 million was during Q4 2023.