W. P. Carey Acquires Plastic Maker’s Facilities in $87M Sale-Leaseback

Investment firm W. P. Carey & Co., through its non-traded REIT affiliate, has acquired three facilities totaling 1.4 million square feet from Berry Plastics Corp. for about $87 million. All the facilities are being leased back to Berry Plastics on a long-term basis.The deal includes Berry Plastics’ headquarters and its largest production facility in Evansville, Ind., a factory in Baltimore, Md., and another facility in Lawrence, Kan. New York-based W. P. Carey and Berry Plastics inked a similar sale-leaseback transaction in 2003, though not as large, totaling $33 million.Berry Plastics makes a diversity of plastic packaging products, including containers, closures, aerosol overcaps, drink cups, prescription vials and other items. Its customers include McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble and Wal-Mart, among others.”The current financial climate means that more companies are now investigating sale-leasebacks,” Benjamin Harris, managing director & head of U.S. investments for W. P. Carey, told CPN this morning “In fact, we’re already seeing an upsurge in interest, because sale-leasebacks now represent an even more attractive way to raise capital.”Given the current state of the finance markets, Harris doesn’t expect that interest to die down anytime soon. “It’s not confined to any single property type,” he added. “We’re getting inquires from all sorts of companies, with a variety of properties they might want to monetize.”