A Citibank branch in Manhattan.

NEW YORK CITY-A locally based partnership has paid $97.2 million to acquire a 47-property portfolio of bank branches triple-net leased to Citibank. The partnership, Path Land Holdings LLC, acquired the portfolio from a private Irish investment group, identified in 2008 published reports as Markland Holdings Ltd., which reportedly paid $87.5 million in March of that year to acquire it from Citigroup.

The branches are located throughout Manhattan and the outer boroughs, as well as in Westchester County and on Long Island. Totaling just north of 157,000 square feet, they range in size from 2,000 to 8,000 square feet.

“Net-leased properties are among the most highly coveted asset class in today’s capital market environment,” Arthur Milston, managing director of Savills LLC, which advised the sellers, in a release.  He says the deal offered “a unique opportunity to acquire an assembled portfolio of assets with significant critical mass in the most dynamic and sought-after real estate market in the world.”

The portfolio was sold free of debt or mortgage financing, and Citibank’s leases include an annual rent increase. “Because of the annual rent increases and because of the buyer’s ability to finance the acquisition at historically low interest rates, the buyer was able to enhance their overall return on equity,” Milston adds.