Aussie sale and leaseback first unlocks real estate value

Author: Ashley Lee | Published: 18 Sep 2013
  • The innovative sale and leaseback of 15 of Bunnings’ warehouse properties to a bankruptcy-remote special purpose entity was the first transaction of this type in Australia;
  • It allowed the issuers – Wesfarmers and Bunnings – to realise value of the properties without selling the assets or otherwise giving up control;
  • But while there has been interest in copycat deals, it is unclear whether there are other potential issuers in the Australian market.

Wesfarmers and Bunnings’ innovative sale-and-leaseback transaction was the first of its kind in Australia. It revealed an alternative for companies looking to access the value in their real estate portfolios without relinquishing control of the assets.

Retailers elsewhere have used a similar sale-and-leaseback structure. UK supermarket chain Tesco has completed six similar transactions, most recently a £493 million...