Corporations are taking part in these transactions in anunstable economic environment in order to raise capital, pay offdebt and have flexible lease structures. "The wave of sale andleasebacks in the banking sector in recent years eradicated the'last resort' stigma previously attached to this type oftransaction, transforming it into another viable choice forcorporates looking to raise capital," says John Wilson, head ofcorporate strategies within CBRE's global corporate servicesbusiness.

This practice is gaining popularity around Europe. In 2005, 42%of all sale leasebacks came out of the UK. Now that number is downto 21% in the past 18 months. Germany has seen an increase, goingfrom 18% of the total in 2005 to 34% over the last year and a half.France, Italy, Spain and Sweden have also stepped up theirtransactions in the space.

In the past, the report says, a majority of sale leasebacks wereundertaken with office properties. But retail assets have caught up– in the first half of this year retail deals have totaled €4.2billion, just down from €4.5 billion in the office sector. This isdue, in part, to larger retail stores and more publicly tradedchains.

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